The top Marine told lawmakers Wednesday that the price tag to replace some of the buildings aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, damaged by Hurricane Florence was roughly $3.6 billion.
Roughly 31 buildings prioritized by the Corps fall under the massive price tag, but Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller said there were more buildings damaged in the storm.
“If you were to take the buildings that we would consider to be not worth the cost of repair, but that they would need to be rebuilt, that total bill comes to about $3.6 billion," Neller told senators.
“We don’t believe it is cost effective to repair buildings that are 35 to 50 years old,” Neller added.
The cost of the project is a combination of “31 projects projects that include demolition and new military construction ($2.0B) as well as repairs to existing buildings($1.3B),” Maj. Brian Block, a Marine spokesman told Marine Corps Times. “The remaining $300M would go to replacements for destroyed IT system and other repairs."
Hurricane Florence struck Camp Lejeune in mid-September, and set a record storm surges of 9–13 feet and dumped 20–30 inches of rain over several days, according to the National Weather Service.
The storm battered Lejeune causing roof and exterior damage to a number of buildings.
“A lot of the buildings at Camp Lejeune are very old,” Neller told lawmakers.
With water and roof damage to facilities across the base mold also set in, Neller explained.
In November, the Marines posted an administrative message informing Marines looking for base housing at the Lejeune to look elsewhere.
The base reported that about 70 percent of homes had been damaged during the hurricane.
The storm also was blamed for an 84,000 gallon sewage spill on the base.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.