The wind had barely stopped blowing, and in some cases, the rain was still falling, but Marines at Camp Lejeune and New River responded to Hurricane Florence the way they respond to everything — they went to work.
Hurricane Florence hit the area on Sept. 15 with 90 mph winds and heavy rain. The storm knocked down trees and limbs, and created quite a mess at the bases.
“Hurricane Florence hit us real bad,” said Lance Cpl. Oswald Murray, drafting surveyor, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, in a video by Lance Cpl. Jared Siniscalchi, MCI East Communication, Strategy and Operations. “Since last week, we’ve been working really hard, day and night, trying to restore power to the base and all the different necessities that were lost during the storm.”
For Murray, the cleanup was a new experience.
“I’m really excited to be here, excited to get out of my shop a little and my comfort zone, come out here and work with some of the bulk fuel guys. That’s most of what my team is comprised of,” he said. “I get to experience different job sets the Marines have, and what they think of their job and how my job can help them do their job better. I just like coming out and helping out.”
Marines teamed up to haul away large tree limbs, using chain saws and axes to cut away at downed trees.
“It’s showing them that we care about where we live, that we care about the base we stay on, and we’re Marines. We take care of our own, so we’re trying to help them out so they can help us out,” Murray said. “It’s a team effort, get the job done together.”
Marines also helped pick up debris from the housing areas.
“A lot of people evacuated during Hurricane Florence, so a lot of damages to the houses and stuff, they’re not home to be able to take care of that, so what we did was just lend a helping hand,” said Cpl. Jacob Lay, II Marine Expeditionary Force Support Battalion, in a video by Lance Cpl. Leynard Plazo, MCI East Communication, Strategy and Operations.
“The majority, honestly, we were just picking up trees, large limbs and stuff that could get maybe in the way of their driveways. They’re trying to pull out and when they get back home, you don’t want a lot of that stuff out there when kids are hanging around.
“It feels really great actually to help people out. Maybe that’s just me, though. I’ve always liked to lend a helping hand if I can.”
Cpl. Micah Linger, II Marine Expeditionary Force Support Battalion, said the Marines took to the task right away.
“As soon as we got cleared to go right after Hurricane Florence came through, the next day we were going through and helping people out,” he said. “We were just making sure that everyone’s houses were good to go and we could help them out and make their lives a little bit easier.”
Linger said he enjoyed the opportunity to help military families.
“It’s a good feeling,” he said. “And, it helps everyone’s readiness and helps everyone get in a good spot, so that they can do their job in that it makes everyone’s life easier.”