The Corps of Engineers provides emergency assistance under Public Law 84-99 to save lives and protect improved property (i.e., public facilities and services, residential or commercial developments) during flooding or coastal storms. The Corps also reconstructs levees damaged in flood events. Assistance to individual homeowners and businesses is not permitted. Corps operations are federally funded, but the Corps has no authority to reimburse states or local communities for their efforts. The Corps provides support to other agencies, particularly the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under Public Law 93-288.
Types of Assistance Provided by the Corps:
Assistance in search and rescue operations.
Emergency construction of, or repairs to, levees or other flood protection projects.
Hiring of contractors and equipment for flood fighting, construction of levees, etc.
Providing flood fighting materials (i.e. sandbags, sandbag machines, plastic sheeting, pumps, etc.)
Technical advice and assistance on flood fighting.
Removal of stream obstructions or bridge opening blockages.
Criteria for Corps of Engineers Assistance:
Flooding must be occurring. Urban or residential areas only.
A declaration of a state of emergency or a written request from the governor of the state or from a local official is required. The request must detail state and local commitments and identify the specific needs and types of assistance requested.
Emergency Operations assistance is meant to be temporary in nature and will be in support of state and local ongoing or planned efforts. Non-federal interests must commit all available resources (i.e., manpower, supplies, equipment, funds, etc.)
The request must be technically feasible and economically justified.
The state must agree to furnish all assurances of local cooperation and indemnification of the United States.
Local interests must sign a cooperative agreement, unless only Technical Assistance and/or Rescue Operations are provided, and to remove all temporary works.
Corps efforts cease when the floodwaters have receded to bankfull conditions.