Engineers bridge gap left by Hurricane Igor
Friday, October 01, 2010
Trouty, Newfoundland and Labrador — The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, surveyed hurricane damage in a CH-124 Sea King helicopter September 27. Before returning to base, he paid a surprise visit to Trouty, a community hit hard by Hurricane Igor.
Paved roads, bridges, culverts and even a home had failed to withstand the raging onslaught of water. “I’ve lived here 22 years and never seen anything like this,” said Harold Stanley, a long time resident. “The fella’s house was washed away and never to be seen again.”
Community members believe Hurricane Igor has washed the beauty away from their tiny bit of paradise, but Minister MacKay reassured the residents that help was on its way. The following day, the rebuilding had begun under the humanitarian assistance operation, Op LAMA.
Once the road and pad preparation were completed, sappers from 4 Engineer Support Regiment (4 ESR) at CFB Gagetown and Reservists from 56 Engineer Squadron, St. John’s, joined one padre at the crack of dawn to begin the process of assembling a medium girder bridge with a military load capacity of 70 tons.
“A large number of reservists are out doing other things today: route recces, culvert checks and meeting with the locals,” said LCol Goodman, Commanding Officer of 4 ESR. “I think this is a perfect example of where the Reserves and the Regular force can come together in an environment where, really, we’re counting on them, because they have the local knowledge [and] local understanding of the situation. So they can really be our face in the public in a combined Army team.”
Later in the day, the completed bridge spanned the 70-metre gap.
“I think having the Army here is a Godsend,” said a woman, who did not want to be identified.
Article by Sergeant Todd Berry, Army News
CF provides assistance in Hurricane Igor aftermath
Friday, October 01, 2010
Argentia, NL — Operation LAMA is the joint Canadian Forces (CF) response to Hurricane Igor, which struck the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) on September 20. Army, Navy and Air Force personnel are contributing to the relief efforts in several isolated southern and eastern communities.
The primary task was to airlift food, water and supplies into communities that were cut off when roads were severely damaged by the ravaging storm. Over 800 Regular Force members and 200 Reservists have been deployed.
Among the first to respond were three CH 124 Sea King Helicopters assigned to conduct humanitarian assistance and support the damage assessment effort. Navy assessment teams and landing parties were met by cheers in many small communities as they came ashore.
Naval assets were diverted from other tasks to support the helicopter lift, as well to assess needs for the humanitarian effort. Land resources, primarily from CFB Gagetown, included 4 Engineer Support Regiment (ESR), which provided water purification facilities and heavy assets such as bridging equipment.
The CF response also included reserve
personnel from units assigned to be part of the CF Domestic
Operations Response Unit. These personnel were from 1 and 2
Royal Newfoundland Regiment, 56 Engineer Squadron and 3 ASG
Signals Squadron, activated to provide additional personnel.
Canadian Forces Station St. John's also provided logistics
support and a staging area for equipment and personnel.