As Hurricane Florence threatens to pummel the Carolinas, the leathernecks at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune are digging in.
MCB-CL Base Commander Brigadier General Julian Alford announced that there will be no mandatory evacuation of the installation, noting that the base can more than handle itself and that evacuation may prove to be a riskier endeavour than staying put.
“Many evacuation routes are vulnerable to flooding, and hotels and fuel supplies are likely already overwhelmed making it very dangerous to travel from and then back to Camp Lejeune when the storm is over,” Alford wrote. “Camp Lejeune has endured countless destructive weather events over its 77 year history, and we will withstand the tough conditions ahead.”
Alford went on to say that the installation has hardened infrastructure, top-notch medical care, power-generation capabilities and the ability to produce and provide clean drinking water, as well as the ability to process waste. In addition, Lejeune is more than capable of deploying manpower -in the form of Marines- to assist any storm affected areas.
“The majority of Camp Lejeune is NOT in a flood prone area,” he wrote. “We have very reliable historical data on what areas would be affected by storm surges and flooding and have already directed the relocation of those personnel and residents away from those vulnerable locations.”
Of course, Alford’s posted statement still inevitably drew a few laughs, criticisms and jokes.
“Don’t worry about them,” one commenter wrote. “By noon Thursday, your Marine is gonna be 24 beers down…playing football in the eye of the storm wearing nothing but a flak and kevlar [helmet].”
The comment conjured up several responses from Marines and Marine veterans, who recalled “barracks parties” and traditional bad-weather football games.
“They have to follow the tradition,” Buford Bates wrote, posting a photo as proof. “Hurricane Irene [in] 2011, flak and Kevlar football. Can confirm entire barracks was drunk”
Others posted photos of barracks entrances being protected by a thin pile of sandbags.
“This is all I got standing between me in the barracks and the hurricane,” one poster wrote.
“Water can’t enter without ID check,” another replied. “So that’s a plus.”
“It’s too late,” the Marine countered, posting a photo of CAC ID card belonging to Hurricane Florence, albeit with an expired date on it.
“The ID is expired,” one Marine quipped. “Search [her] vehicle.”
If social media is any indication of the climate at Camp Lejeune right now, we have a pretty good hunch that everyone at the base is going to be just fine.
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