FORT BRAGG MOLD-INFESTED BARRACKS VICTIMS FINALLY EVACUATED
By Olivia Rigby
In recent Fort Bragg news, mold was found in the barracks back in summer 2022. After months of a very unhasty evacuation, the Soldiers have finally been evacuated due to the Fort Bragg mold. Keep reading to learn more about the Fort Bragg barracks’ mold and what the Army is doing to assist the evacuated soldiers.
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Fort Bragg Mold InfestationThe mold at the Fort Bragg barracks reportedly began in summer 2022 at the Smoke Bomb Hill barracks. It was announced in early August that the over 1,100 Soldiers at Fort Bragg living in mold-infested barracks would be evacuated into temporary housing by the end of 30 days. But the evacuation wasn’t completed until recently – the end of October. So why did it take so long for Soldiers to be put into new, more sanitary Fort Bragg housing? Mold can create huge health problems, so why did the Army take so long to move the soldiers out of those barracks?
Where Did the Fort Bragg Soldiers Move To?With this recent Fort Bragg news, many may be wondering: Where did Fort Bragg move those 1,100+ Soldiers? Reportedly, Fort Bragg moved about half of the soldiers to other barracks on the base, and the other half has been placed in private off-base housing. Because off-base housing can get expensive, the Army provided the relocated soldiers with housing assistance, though the Army has not specified how much that housing assistance is. It could be enough to cover all of the rent for these private units, or only partial coverage. The Army has also not specified how long they will be providing this assistance to the evacuated Soldiers, either.
Why Did It Take So Long?Mold can cause serious illnesses, especially for someone allergic to mold or who’s asthmatic, and it took the Army over two months to completely evacuate these Soldiers from the Fort Bragg barracks. Sadly, there is no definitive answer as to why it took the Army so long to evacuate these Soldiers. Maybe it took them a while to find housing for everyone affected, or, just as likely, they didn’t have any planning in place to deal with a situation of this magnitude. Whatever the answer is, we won’t know for sure until the Army says why–if the Army says why–it took so long to relocate Soldiers from the Fort Bragg moldy housing.
The Future for Smoke Bomb Hill BarracksThe barracks were originally built in the 1970s. The reason the mold spread so well was because of recent construction in the barracks. Despite all this construction, the barracks will still need to be completely replaced to fix the Fort Bragg mold issue. Fort Bragg is planning on demolishing and replacing all the barracks at Smoke Bomb Hill. The Army has stated that the plans for this rebuilding will be announced at a later time.
Other Problems With the Military Spark Wider ConcernRecently, the military has become no stranger to issues with their Soldiers’ health. The USS Nimitz was found with jet fuel in its drinking water, and the USS Abraham Lincoln found E. coli in its drinking water. So what’s the deal with the military recently? Many have asked if they actually care about the health of their Soldiers. In all honesty, these recent issues are likely just due to the age of the equipment and also the general nature of the military. Those in the military definitely don’t expect a 5-star hotel when they move into the barracks. But they should be able to expect a mold-free home. Additionally, the USS Nimitz and the USS Abraham Lincoln are both old boats. These issues likely just came up with the aging of the boats, but the least that Soldiers are entitled to is clean drinking water. The military is working to rectify these issues, regardless of the fact that this rectification might not be at the pace many wish it would be. The Fort Bragg mold in the barracks has caused a massive relocation for over 1,000 Soldiers. The original evacuation effort was supposed to only take 30 days starting at the beginning of August, but the evacuation ended an entire two months later – triple the amount of time it was originally supposed to take. Though the Army hasn’t stated why this relocation effort took so long, they have reassured Soldiers that their new housing was inspected for mold before moving. Hopefully, for the sake of our Soldiers, the military will not have any further significant issues with their equipment or their barracks.
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