News: Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst survives historic hurricane
Story by Airman 1st Class Dennis Sloan
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. - Hurricane Irene has moved out of the area, but not without leaving its mark.
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst experienced damaging winds and excessive rain, which caused flooding.
When the storm began to move out of the area, damage assessment teams spread out across the base.
"We currently have damage assessment teams driving the main and side roads of the base looking for flooding, down trees or any obstructions." said
Master Sgt. Ronald Boulanger, 87th Civil Engineer Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of construction. "The clean-up and restoration of JB MDL will start once we have identified all the issues and prioritize them."
The storm sent gusting winds more than 70 mph through the base uprooting full grown trees and scattering small debris. Flooding of roads, lakes and rivers quickly became an issue when 8 inches of rain was dropped on the base within a short period of time.
"The low-lying areas of base have seen significant amounts of flooding, especially near lakes and rivers," said Airman Tyler Woytus, 15th Operations Weather Squadron, weather specialist.
Hurricane Irene hit the joint base and the state of New Jersey late Saturday evening, but the base had been preparing for the storm several days prior.
All units on JB MDL worked together to ensure equipment and military assets are properly secured and aircraft are at their destination well before the hurricane arrives.
"This has been some of the best teamwork I've ever seen," said Tech Sgt. Hazeley Glenn, 305th Aerial Port Squadron. "The whole base is coming together to make this work."
The last hurricane to hit the East Coast with this intensity and force was Hurricane Carol in 1954.
"This doesn't happen everyday, said Tech. Sgt. John Nugent, 87th CES operations support superintendent. "The East Coast is not known to have a hurricane hit it this hard or at all."
The final step to recover from this storm is to restore base accessibility and get the mission moving again.
"The clean-up is going very weel," said Nugent. "The crews have been very responsive and professional. We've been able to address everything very quickly."