Category Archives: Emergency Operations

USACE Tulsa team receives Dam Safety Award of Excellence

By Tulsa District

The Dam Safety Team Award of Excellence for 2016 was awarded to the Tulsa District Project Delivery Team for their efforts in developing a phased approach to repairing the North Cumberland Levee after it breached June 21, 2015.

Following record flooding in May and June 2015, a section of the North Cumberland Levee on Lake Texoma breached on June 21, 2015.


A total of 22.8 inches of rainfall landed upstream of the levee in May 2015 and Tropical Storm Bill followed after a short dry spell, dropping an additional 11.15 inches of rain upstream of the levee over a three day period.

Despite strained resources from flood events throughout Oklahoma and Texas and multiple on-going high priority dam safety modification projects, the Southwestern Division Dam Safety Production Center and the Tulsa District assembled a team of engineers, technicians and managers to develop a phased approach to repair the levee.

While unfortunate, this event and the project that followed, illustrated the ability of USACE to respond quickly with a well-engineered product.  It has also provided an opportunity for entry-level to journeyman engineers to gain valuable experience on design of a significant geotechnical engineering and construction project

The team included Eaf Redden, Adam Smith, Russ Wyckoff, Richard Bilinski, Nathan Braithwaite, Michelle Lay, Robert Goranson, Steven Lucas, Terry Rice, David Blackmore, Tony Clyde, Joe Custer, Mark Ellison, Mike Nance, Tom Hammons, Mark Wittrock and Jess McBride.


Hill named USACE Emergency Manager of the Year

Tony Hill, Chief of Emergency Management for the Little Rock District, was recently named 2015 Emergency Manager of the Year by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters.

His recognition as Emergency Manager of the Year spotlights his role as the contingency operations program manager for Little Rock District during day-to-day operations and in support of disaster response operations around the world.

Tony Hill
Tony Hill

In 2015 Hill developed a waterway incident exercise for the McClellan Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System that brought approximately 82 participants together from the navigation industry, the State of Arkansas, Oklahoma, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Corps of Engineers Southwestern Division to initiate discussion with regard to the Water Resource Development Act 2014, Section 1024 for accepting contributions from industry during an emergency situation on the waterway. Hill directed the development of an exercise playbook for participants to include discussion points that encouraged the navigation industry to identify actions that they could take at different times during the incident to help keep the navigation system open or shorten the duration of any waterway closure. Inclusion of the legal and money people from USACE helped to clarify how contributions from industry could be accepted in accordance with the new guidance.

Hill planned, coordinated and executed major aspects of the District’s response to two flood events on the Arkansas and White rivers in 2015. The May and the December flood events both rivalled the June of 1990 event with the December flood becoming the number two flood event and May the number three flood event since the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System was established.

During both events, Hill worked diligently with Engineering and Construction and Operations Divisions and the Southwestern Division to provide meaningful briefing products so that USACE would have a good picture of what was happening in the southwestern region along with that of the rest of the country.  Several of the inputs for the briefing slides were modified to tell a better story of the ongoing flood fight.


Hill served as the Emergency Management Subject Matter Expert on two Civil Military Emergency Preparedness events in Central Asia assisting them with building their capacity to internally manage natural and man-made disasters as well as to provide disasters assistance to other nations in their region should they be requested.

He also served on a 90-day development assignment at Headquarters USACE coordinating with FEMA on new mission assignments and development of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Corps and the Civil Air Patrol.