It’s been a drama-filled week for Marine bases located in the path of Hurricane Florence.
The recruit depot at Parris Island, South Carolina, dropped a mandatory evacuation order on Monday, only to rescind it later the following day. And the sprawling Marine base at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, was dragged into a Facebook debate with critics deriding the base over its decision to wait out the storm.
Well, Hurricane Florence, the once touted mega category four storm, has made landfall on the East Coast of the United States as a now category one storm, battering Camp Lejeune with 80-90 mph winds and dumping a ton of rain.
So, how are Marines faring in the face of impending peril from the storm?
From a series of pictures, Snapchat videos and posts to social media it appears some have decided to slam beers, dance in American flag garbed shorts and capes, and party.
While the Marines battle boredom cooped up in the tight quarters of the barracks aboard Camp Lejeune, Hurricane Florence is still very much a powerful and deadly storm.
Life-threatening storm surges and heavy rain are battering coastal areas in North Carolina. Flooding has already impacted many areas to include New Bern, North Carolina, were more than 100 people have already been rescued in the wake of the storm’s destruction, according to the Washington Post.
The National Weather Service has issued flash flood warnings for Camp Lejeune and surrounding Onslow County that is in effect until 1:15 p.m. Friday.
While some jokers in the barracks are laughing at the storm, the base has made serious preparations to assist military staff and the community to include opening numerous shelters across Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station.
And Marines and sailors embarked with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship Kearsarge and the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock Arlington are out at sea tracking the storm in preparation for rescuing people caught up in the storm’s destructive path.
Camp Lejeune’s Facebook page has been providing steady updates on the storm and base operations.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.