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U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Bryan Ford, a ground electronics transmission systems maintainer with 8th Marine Regiment, clears debris at Berkley Manor on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Aug. 4, 2020. U.S. Marines carried out recovery efforts after Hurricane Isaias in order to resume normal operations while following COVID-19 mitigation guidelines. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Isaiah Gomez)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Isaiah Gomez

After Hurricane Isaias, Camp Lejeune Clean-up Crews Work to Clear the Debris

4 Aug 2020 | Courtesy Story II Marine Expeditionary Force

Hurricane Isaias has passed through Eastern North and South Carolina throughout Monday, August 3, leaving rain and debris in its wake.

After Isaias left the area, clean-up crews were dispatched to address specific areas of the base. These clean-up crews are currently on Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River clearing roads of debris and working to restore power to buildings. Normal operations for all MEF personnel are expected to resume at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 5.

The coordination in place prior to Isaias’ arrival helped avoid potential problems. The Destructive Weather Operations Center, made up of 33 Marines and sailors from throughout II MEF, planned many of the necessary steps to conduct the clean up after the storm. Chief Warrant Officer 4 Joseph Causey, the Destructive Weather Officer for II MEF said that significant prior planning between MCI-EAST and II MEF goes into these events long before the storm ever arrives, and when the call comes, the preparations pay off in speed and efficiency. “It was my intent to ensure II MEF responded to the needs of MCI-EAST more rapidly than ever before. The Major Subordinate Commands did exactly that, and they performed magnificently.”

In addition to planning for operations after the storm, meteorological and oceanographic personnel analyze weather patterns to determine the strength and severity of incoming storms. “By starting large and working down to pinpoint potential storms, we can better determine the impacts to II MEF’s equipment, personnel, and, ultimately, its readiness,” Capt. Zachary Fossum, a Meteorology and Oceanography Officer, said. “Through an accurate analysis of weather and its impacts on readiness, we’re able to better inform the commander so he can make the best decision possible.”

Isaias moved north along the Atlantic coast as a tropical storm for most of the day on August 3, finally becoming a hurricane late Monday night as it moved into warmer water closer to the shore. Since coming inland it has lost much of its momentum and has once again been downgraded into a tropical storm.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Isaias made landfall at Ocean Isle Beach, only 82 miles south of Camp Lejeune. Isaias moved quickly inland, reaching speeds of 24 mph with sustained winds of 70 mph and gusts reaching up to 85 mph. Due to the speed of the storm, Isaias moved through the area quickly, preventing prolonged damage. For reference, Hurricane Florence of 2018 impacted Camp Lejeune and the surrounding area moving at only 6 mph, and in 2019, Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas by moving through the area at a staggering 1 mph.

Readiness of the force and the safety of its personnel and their families is paramount. If you have sustained any damage to your property, or have any personal injuries, notify your chain of command immediately. For up to date information, follow II MEF on Facebook at www.facebookcom/IIMEF/ and Camp Lejeune at https://www.facebook.com/camp.lejeune/

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