From NS Mayport Public Affairs
After several days of recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, all normal operations are back on line at Naval Station Mayport.
Although there were power outages, some flooding and trees were downed, overall the base suffered no major infrastructure damage. Crews continue to clean up debris around the installation.
"Our pre-storm prep was excellent," said Steve Millican, NS Mayport's Emergency manager. "Everyone did what we needed them to do, when we asked. We had about 500 plus mission essential and duty people on the installation during the storm and there were no fatalities and no injuries. That says a lot."
The ships that left to avoid the hurricane have returned to the basin. All other ships that stayed remained intact and all Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) squadrons have returned to the airfield. The decision to sortie was based on concerns for the safety of Sailors and preservation of the ships, helicopters and associated equipment.
"Our focus has been on safety and the safe return of personnel," said NS Mayport Executive Officer, Cmdr. Bo Palmer. "Utilities restoration was top priorities and then shifting to debris removal. We've had a lot of great work from our Sailors, civilians and our contractors. It really shows you that team effort keeps Mayport running."
As personnel return to the base from their evacuation locations, NS Mayport Fire Inspector Anita Wilson said it is imperative that residents "think safe."
"If your house or command building took damamge, then make sure to have someone come out and check before you turn on the electrical," she said. "Any appliances that may have taken water damage need to be inspected or discarded. If you don't know, get somebody to check. Don't take the chance of starting a fire or being electrocuted."
An Emergency Family Assistance Center (EFAC) also opened for returning service members to help handle claims, reimbursement and offer counseling services. Additionally, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is offering interest-free loans for Sailors and families.
"The good news here was our storm preparation and having a team in place to handle the recovery process after the evacuation commenced, said Capt. David Yoder, NS Mayport commanding officer.