Camp Lejeune Still Recovering From Florence, Readies For Dorian

Sep 5, 2019

U.S. Marines with 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, stage their Assault Amphibious Vehicles (AAV-P7/A1) to provide a hardened shelter for gate sentries on Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Sept. 5, 2019. The AAV-P7/A1 will provide a safe environment from potential high winds and debris caused by Hurricane Dorian.
Credit Warrant Officer Brian Lautenslager / U.S. Marine Corps

As Hurricane Dorian begins lashing Camp Lejeune, the sprawling Marine Base is unusually vulnerable because it's still badly damaged from Hurricane Florence a year ago.

Last year's storm caused more than $3 billion in damage to the base, much of it from water pouring through shredded roofs.

Base spokesman Nat Fahy said between 200 and 300 buildings still have only tarps keeping rain out. "In the immediate aftermath the count was 345. And so we have made some progress in roof repairs and replacing those shingled roofs with metal roofs," said Fahy, but noted that there were still a significant number of buildings without proper structural coverage. "We're in a vulnerable situation. I mean, there's only so much we can do to reinforce those tarps."

Fahy said the tarps sometimes leak during thunderstorms, so base officials are worried about how they'll fare in another hurricane.

Camp Lejeune could be in line for more flooding as forecasters expect parts of southeastern North Carolina to sustain heavy rains and storm surge.

The National Weather Service on Wednesday issued a Hurricane Warning for the entire Atlantic coast from northern Georgia to southern Virginia, predicting a "potentially life threatening storm surge" up to 8 feet around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.