Scott and Rubio Push for NAS Pensacola Hurricane Relief

Scott and Rubio Push for NAS Pensacola Hurricane Relief

Florida continues to recover from past destructive storms

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
|
April 30, 2021

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sally, there was plenty of damage left by the passing storm, including facilities at Naval Air Station Pensacola or NAS Pensacola  (NASP), Florida Senators Marco Rubio (R), and Rick Scott (R) have teamed up on a joint effort to launch a recovery campaign.

The recovery campaign starts with the NAS Pensacola military base in the panhandle.

The effort is also aimed to hold Balfour Beatty accountable, the British-based infrastructure company that failed to repair on-base housing that was damaged by the hurricane.

The senators wrote a letter to Secretary Harker of the United States Navy with their relief ideas.

NASP has suffered extensive damage to its on-base housing. We have been informed that 450 of the 549 houses on NASP were damaged,” the senators wrote. “Two housing units sustained such extensive damage that they may be unrepairable. Many of the damaged houses still have temporary roofing more than 200 days after Hurricane Sally made landfall. It is our understanding that Balfour Beatty has failed to make their contractually obligated repairs to many of these houses and is unwilling to use their repair fund until their insurance pays the cost of the repairs to the houses. The impact of Balfour Beatty’s inaction is that our service members on NASP are living in unacceptable conditions.”

The full letter sent from Rubio and Scott to Harker is transcribed below:

Dear Acting Secretary Harker:

We write with regard to Naval Air Station Pensacola (NASP) and the efforts to rebuild the installation after Hurricane Sally. Specifically, we are deeply concerned about the state of disrepair of the facilities and Balfour Beatty’s lack of action to repair housing on the installation.

Hurricane Sally made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane less than 30 miles from NASP in the early hours of the morning on September 16, 2020. Since then, the base has struggled to make the required repairs to its facilities. Currently, 368 military facilities on NASP are still damaged, and a significant number of those would likely become total losses in the event of another storm. These facilities suffer from stripped roofing, water intrusion, and other forms of severe damage. Simply put, another storm could have a catastrophic operational impact on the installation, which would have massive national security ramifications.

NASP also suffered extensive damage to its on-base housing. We have been informed that 450 of the 549 houses on NASP were damaged. Two housing units sustained such extensive damage that they may be unrepairable. Many of the damaged houses still have temporary roofing more than 200 days after Hurricane Sally made landfall. It is our understanding that Balfour Beatty has failed to make their contractually obligated repairs to many of these houses and is unwilling to use their repair fund until their insurance pays the cost of the repairs to the houses. The impact of Balfour Beatty’s inaction is that our service members on NASP are living in unacceptable conditions.

We urge you to take action to fix these issues at NASP. From our positions on the Senate Committee on Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies and the Senate Committee on Armed Services, we remain committed to working with you to ensure NASP has the resources it needs to rebuild from Hurricane Sally.

Balfour Beatty florida gop Hurricane Sally marco rubio NASP Navy rick scott

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Jim McCool

Jim McCool

Jim is a Pre-law student and has lived in Florida for 15 years. He is a member of the Benjamin Franklin Society of Scholars, received the 'Spirit of the American Legion' award, and was the President and founder of his high school's debate and moot court teams. On the side, he enjoys football, academics, politics and is a self-proclaimed patriot.