September 11, 2018

Ahead of Hurricane Florence, Warner & Kaine Offer Assistance to DoD to Protect Va. Military Facilities and Personnel

~ Senators offer assistance to ensure the safety of Defense Department personnel and infrastructure in Virginia, including Naval Station Norfolk ~ 

WASHINGTON— Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) wrote to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to offer assistance in protecting military facilities and personnel in Virginia ahead of Hurricane Florence. Virginia has a significant footprint for each of the branches of our nation’s military and is home to Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval complex in the world. This week, the station warned its employees about the possibility of flooding and urged them not to leave their vehicles parked at the base during the storm.

“As sea levels rise, these installations in particular have faced increased frequency and severity of flooding in recent years. Given the critical role that Hampton Roads military installations play in supporting our nation’s security, we ask that you keep us apprised of any assistance you may need to ensure the safety of servicemembers and their families, installations, and infrastructure, and to swiftly address any potential damage resulting from the storm. We look forward to working with you to ensure that the military is able to quickly recover following Hurricane Florence,” wrote the Senators in a letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

On September 8, 2018, Gov. Northam declared a state of emergency in Virginia in preparation for Hurricane Florence, which is projected to have a significant impact on the Commonwealth in the coming days. On Monday, Sens. Warner and Kaine led the Virginia congressional delegation in a letter calling on President Trump to support the Governor’s request to issue a federal emergency declaration ahead of the storm.

The full text of the letter can be found here and below:

The Honorable James N. Mattis

Secretary of Defense

U.S. Department of Defense

1000 Defense Pentagon

Washington, DC 20301

Dear Secretary Mattis,

As Hurricane Florence strengthens in the Atlantic on its projected path toward the East Coast, we write to offer our assistance and support as  the Department of Defense takes the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of its personnel and infrastructure in Virginia. Our state hosts significant footprints for each of the branches of our nation’s military, and is home to the largest naval complex in the world, Naval Station Norfolk.

In preparation for the storm, the Commonwealth of Virginia has declared a state of emergency, and has requested Federal support in dealing with potential emergency response. Additionally, we understand that the Navy has ordered Sortie Condition Alpha, meaning ships from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek and Naval Station Norfolk will be getting underway to avoid the worst of the storm. We are grateful for the steps the Department of Defense has taken so far.

As sea levels rise, these installations in particular have faced increased frequency and severity of flooding in recent years. Given the critical role that Hampton Roads military installations play in supporting our nation’s security, we ask that you keep us apprised of any assistance you may need to ensure the safety of servicemembers and their families, installations, and infrastructure, and to swiftly address any potential damage resulting from the storm.

We look forward to working with you to ensure that the military is able to quickly recover following Hurricane Florence. Thank you again for your preparation on this critical effort.

Sincerely,

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