• Pittsburgh plays key role in providing relief during Florence

    Updated:

    PITTSBURGH - As Hurricane Florence batters the Carolina coast, all eyes are on FEMA and how they respond.

    But working hand in hand with FEMA Is a critical response center based in Pittsburgh.

    Live Updates: Tracking Hurricane Florence, impact on Pittsburgh area

    “They're the ones that have the response for Hurricane Florence,” said David Bishop of the Army Corps of Engineers. “Our job is to install generators at critical public facilities.”

    The Corps is in charge of temporary power during major storms nationwide, meaning they install generators and other critical infrastructure in hospitals and shelters before and after a storm hits.

    Hurricane Florence live updates: Category 1 storm makes landfall in North Carolina

    And it's all coordinated through a command center in the federal building in downtown Pittsburgh.

    Only Channel 11 got to see the center in action on Friday as crews closely monitor Florence.

    “It's a lot of moving pieces to all put together to make sure we're providing what's needed on the ground,” said Major Jean Archer of the 248th Engineering Battalion.

    Archer showed Channel 11 the list of resources already on the ground for Florence, including response teams and dozens of generators in each state.

    “The big focus obviously right now is on Florence,” she said. “So we have teams in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina all staged and prepared to respond with emergency power support."

    The team will work around the clock to identify the highest priorities, and then send crews into areas everyone else is trying to avoid.


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