Elizabeth City is prepping for another winter storm this weekend, making this the second weekend in a row that we receive considerable accumulation of the beautiful, white, fluffy stuff!
As we all know, the forecasted weather this time of year greatly varies, and it is very difficult to predict the exact amount of snow we could get at any given time. How does this impact the Coast Guard? With our moto of, “Semper Paratus”, we are always ready! Well, being in the South makes snow preparation a bit more challenging with limited equipment and resources. That doesn’t stop our Facility Engineering employees and dedicated snow removal team from tackling the challenge! After last weekend’s storm, Elizabeth City saw upwards of 9” of snow in some places and with careful planning, the team was well prepared.
Preparations began the week prior with readying snow removal and ice melt spreading equipment, pre-staging snow shovels, verifying sand and ice melt supply levels, and refining snow clearance priorities in the support of Base operations.
As pretty as it was, the blanket of white snow had to be removed in order to support ongoing operations and missions. Utilizing two tractor plows, two truck plows, two bobcats, and about 15 shovels, snow removal efforts began at approximately 2000-2300 Friday at the H-60 helo ramp. Crews were on stand-by throughout the night and resumed work clearing this area at 0500, enabling a H-60 Search and Rescue mission launch mid-morning on Saturday for an over-turned john-boat near the Eastern Shore.
Full snow removal crew efforts began at 0800 Saturday to clear the runway and other airfield areas necessary to support the AIRSTA C-130s, Station’s boat ramp and access for small boat operations, and other base roadways necessary for emergency services and direct operational mission support.
In total, the crew cleared over 600,000 SF of runway, ramps, aprons, roadways, parking lots and sidewalks to ensure Base Elizabeth City could support the Air Station and Small Boat Station to be mission ready! They are back at it this week prepping for the next storm and the next mission! Serving to serve you.
In closing, if you are building a snowman or taking the boat on the water, dress for the water temperatures as well as the wind chill! And never forget your lifejacket!
CMC Christie Hamilton, Command Master Chief, Base Elizabeth City