Story by MCC Matthew White, 30th Naval Construction Regiment
TINIAN, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands – Seabee Sailors from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 built FEMA-provided tents for families whose homes became unlivable by Super Typhoon Yutu, letting them return to their property and move out of emergency shelters.
Many of the homes on Tinian were damaged or destroyed by the more than 150 mph winds that Super Typhoon Yutu brough to the island, which is the second strongest storm to ever strike U.S. territory.
“Some of the families have been in emergency shelters for about two weeks and so it’s great that we could build these tents, which got them back on their property and helped them get one step closer to resuming normal life,” said Chief Equipment Operator Jared Vehrs, operations chief for NMCB-1 Det. Tinian.
The Seabees built the tents and provided the property owners with instruction about the different aspects of the tent and the amenities included. The tents can house up to eight people and come equipped with kitchen utensils, a portable radio, and a portable sanitary toilet in a separate tent.
The Seabees also instructed dozens of Tinian officials in how to assemble the tents properly so they can take over the distribution and tent assembly process from the Seabees as the recovery efforts move forward.
“It’s vital the Seabees partner with the Tinian officials to get the citizens back in safe shelter on their own property. Today was a great example of the Navy and Tinian team working together to return the island to normalcy,” said Lt. Cmdr. Pete Smagur, officer-in-charge NMCB-1 Det. Guam.
Service members from Joint Region Marianas and Indo-Pacific Command are providing Department of Defense support to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ civil and local officials as part of the FEMA-supported Typhoon Yutu recovery efforts.”