Iowans with the Army Corps of Engineers have left the Rock Island Arsenal headquarters for Louisiana. Their helping with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina by making arrangements to get ice hauled into the area. The Corps’ Ron Fournier says he anticipates the joke that the ice will be for their drinks, but he adds it’s a critical item after this kind of emergency, when the power’s out. With no electricity, the local folks need ice to cool donated blood, insulin and other medical supplies, to refrigerate food and other perishables, and for “plain and simple first aid use.” The Iowans aren’t hauling frozen cubes themselves, they’re coordinating shipments of ice from many parts of the country. The Corps has a list of contractors who’ll come from all over the U.S., bringing in 40-thousand-pound truckloads of it. About five Iowans from the Rock Island Corps headquarters have gone down there to start the “ice acquisition.” They’re hoping to get in some 200 truckloads of ice within the next 3 days, some 7 and-a-half-Million pounds of ice that they have to get ready to go. Ice acquisition is one permanent task of the Rock Island Corps headquarters whenever there’s an emergency that will require it. The mission of the Corps is to provide quality, responsive engineering service to the nation, and responding to flood damage is one of many parts of its mission.
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