It has been nearly 680 days since the devastating Hurricane Florence crashed into North Carolina, inundating the region and causing massive damage to two prominent Marine Corps bases ― Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River.
The hurricane will cost roughly $3.6 billion to rebuild Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. As of September 2019 tarps were still on the roofs on hundreds of buildings across the two bases, Marine Corps Times previously reported.
On Wednesday Rep. Greg Murphy, R-North Carolina, alongside Charles Williams Jr., assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, Maj. Gen. Edward Banta, commander for Marine Corps Installations Command and Rear Adm. John Korka, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command toured the two bases to see exactly how much progress the Corps has made, according to a press release.
“While our Eastern North Carolina installations sustained extensive damage after Hurricane Florence, each of them have made significant strides on their respective roads to recovery,” Nat Fahy, a spokesman for Marine Corps Installations East, told Marine Corps Times in an email Friday.
Throughout the past 22 months Congress has sent an unparalleled $3.1 billion to the Corps in order to rebuild the bases, the release said.
“On any given year, we would typically execute about [$1.2 billion] across the entire [Marine Corps] enterprise so when you look at these numbers, this is truly unprecedented,” Banta said in a briefing the day before the tour, the press release said.
The group flew over the bases in a MV-22 from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 based out of New River to get a bird’s eye view of the construction underway.
Of the 378 roofs damaged on Camp Lejeune and New River, repairs have been completed on 201 buildings, repairs are underway on another 106 and 31 still await work. Forty roofs had future repairs cancelled due to being marked for demolition, Fahy said.
A total of 319 buildings sustained interior damage during the storm and repairs have been completed on 180 of them, Fahy said.
A further 116 buildings have started the repair process, while repairs on the final 23 have yet to begin, he added.
“During a several hour visit with the brave Marines at New River Air Station today, it was humbling for me to see the devotion they all display in serving our nation,” Murphy said in the press release.
“They continue to evolve the multiple facets of their mission to meet the ever-changing needs of our Marines to be successful,” the lawmaker said.