Recovery from Hurricane Florence, which damaged 800 buildings and thousands of homes at three Marine Corps installations in coastal North Carolina in September, will take years to complete, Marine Corps Installations Command (MCICOM) said Wednesday. Several headquarters buildings, training facilities and aircraft hangers at Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Air Station New River, and MCAS Cherry Point sustained damage during the storm, which dumped 20 to 30 inches of rain over several days. “[II Marine Expeditionary Force] is now able to meet operational commitments, but training environments remain degraded,” according to an MCICOM press release. The single largest training impact occurred at Onslow Beach at Camp Lejeune, severely limiting the area available for training.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller previously said the Marines Corps needs $3.6 billion to repair the three installations.
About 500 of the affected buildings were severely damaged, displacing about 3,000 military personnel and 1,000 on-base family members, according to MCICOM. Damage incurred by more than 4,000 homes resulted in a housing shortage in the region and prompted the Marine Corps to raise the basic allowance for housing for affected personnel.
“We can’t afford recovery internally. We’re doing this wisely, and we’re not trying to fix things that do not need fixing — we just want to fix the things that are broken and get our community back on its feet.” said Maj. Gen. Vincent Coglianese, commander of MCICOM.
Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isaiah Gomez