CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Hurricane season is a part of life for residents living along the eastern seaboard, and with the recent passage of Tropical Storm Arthur this week, ahead of the official hurricane season, there is already a renewed focus on upcoming weather anomalies. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River prepare for destructive weather and plan months in advance to ensure all assets in the path of future storms are secured and protected. Hurricane season begins June 1 and extends to November 30.
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which made landfall in September of 2018 along the southeastern North Carolina coast. Hurricane Florence impacted Onslow County and surrounding areas with approximately 30-40 inches of rain, tropical storm force winds for a period of over 48 hours which resulted in record breaking flooding. These are some of the driving factors for why installations along the Eastern Seaboard are taking all necessary precautions heading into hurricane season against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have completed multiple planning conferences and are examining impacts that COVID-19 will have on hurricane preparedness, response and recovery,” said Wayne Herbert, G-3 operations officer with Marine Corps Installations East.
Camp Lejeune conducts its Destructive Weather Exercise annually in preparation for the hurricane season. This year, the exercise will take place June 15-18. Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Air Station New River and tenant commands such as II Marine Expeditionary Force and schools belonging to Training and Education Command will exercise hurricane preparedness, execute training briefs and practice response drills during the exercise.
If an elevated destructive weather condition were to be set for the base community and officials believe that homes won’t offer enough protection, Camp Lejeune will have emergency shelters set up with food, medical personnel, chaplains and other necessities.
“Individual and family readiness is also very much encouraged,” said Chris Royal, installation emergency manager with the Installation Protection Branch on Camp Lejeune. “Individuals and families should plan, prepare and stay informed.”
Camp Lejeune will provide emergency shelters at the Wallace Creek Fitness Center, Tarawa Terrace Elementary School and Brewster Middle School.
“History validates that we are at risk for tropical storms and hurricanes during the hurricane season,” Herbert said. “Our goal is to protect the force and their families while also safe-guarding services and capacity aboard the installation.”
For more information, visit the hurricane preparedness website at https://www.weather.gov/mhx/hurricaneprep and to do online training at www.readync.org.