Army families plead for housing help after Florence
CAMP LEJEUNE: Two weeks after hurricane florence deluged the us east Coast’ s largest marine corps base with raging waters and dangerous winds, some military families say they are still residing in unlivable conditions and awaiting help from the base’s private housing manager.
Some, like Jennifer Maher, said they feel unsafe in their Camp Lejeune homes but were told they will not be moved because assessment crews determined their houses are habitable.
That did not work for Maher, pregnant in her third trimester and living with her husband and two-year-old son.
When she returned home last Friday, she opened the door to the stench of mold, she said while showing the wreckage to a visiting reporter.
Then she saw the ceiling had collapsed in their bedroom and garage.
“I’m pregnant and I can smell the mold,” said Maher, whose husband is a Navy corpsman stationed at Lejeune. “There’s no way I could bring a newborn home and let her breathe this in.”
Though an assessment crew noted the collapsed ceilings and standing water, Maher said, the housing manager told the family they would not be relocated.
After she threatened to complain to the Inspector General’s OFICE on BASE, SHE SAID her family was given temporary lodging. “I understand they have a lot to take care of,” Maher said of the housing manager.
“But it’s hard when your housing company says, ‘I don’t know what to tell you, Go ind A shelter.’” A reporter VISITED the base, speaking with three residents in their damaged homes and interviewing two others, one off base and one by phone.
At Lejeune, some families described encountering troubles that reporters observed at other bases — lags in maintenance responses by private contractors that stir worries over health. Most of Camp Lej eu ne’ s housing is run by atlantic marine Corps Communities (AMCC), a partnership between Australia-based Lendlease Group, Boston-based Winncompanies AND THE US Navy. All THE Homes proiled in this article are managed by AMCC.
Of the more than 4,600 homes the company operates at Camp Lejeune and nearby New River Air Station, 1,200 have undergone assessments. The inspections found 82 homes uninhabitable and requiring relocation, said 2nd Lieutenant Andrew Martino, a communications of ice rat camp Lejeune. Another 267 suffered sustained damage but were habitable. A further 560 homes are operated by a different manager, Lincoln Military Housing, which has not reported serious damage, he said.