WALLA WALLA -- A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers team from Walla Walla is headed toward a hurricane.
The 12-member team from the Walla Walla District office left for Fayetteville, N.C., early today to help deal with power failures as Hurricane Irene moves toward the Atlantic coast.
The emergency power team was sent in response to a request from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Gina Baltrusch, public affairs specialist. Officials anticipate members will be in North Carolina for about two weeks or longer.
The team consists of an action officer, two mission managers, three mission specialists, a mission liaison, two logistics specialists, a contract specialist and two emergency power quality assurance specialists.
All members are volunteers who are ready to deploy on short notice when disasters strike.
Hurricane Irene was forecast to approach the North Carolina coast on Saturday with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph with higher gusts.
By comparison, a windstorm that caused major damage in Walla Walla on Jan. 4, 2008, gusted to 78 mph.