Story by Alexandra Shea on 09/06/2019Hurricane Dorian had dominated news headlines for weeks. Viewers have been able to watch scenes as Dorian whipped the Bahamian Islands. As Dorian grew closer the nation's Eastern coast line, concerns mounted as the hurricanes made its way closer to South Carolina.
The mandatory evacuation of the state's coastline meant local Columbia businesses were booming as hurricane refugees flooded in. Some hotels reached capacity and shelves at grocery stores looked less and less full. Even Fort Jackson felt the surge of incoming personnel from Joint Base Charleston who were temporarily housed until the storm passed.
Beginning Sep. 2 trainees from across the installation began filling sandbags to help local on-post residents and office buildings help stave off any flooding from the storm.
Staff Sgt. David Strelow, with Fort Jackson's garrison, helped the hurricane efforts by organizing the personnel and overseeing the sandbag mission.
"Personnel in the government housing area are the first priority, number two is flooded buildings" Strelow said. "These Soldiers worked hard. We have just under 5,000 sandbags right now."
The most recent crew of trainees to help with efforts were from 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, who are due to graduate Sep. 12.
These trainees offered post residents a sense of relief knowing they would be provided with necessary sandbags to help prevent storm damages from Hurricane Dorian and any future hurricanes that may form later this year.
"It makes me feel nice that I'm helping someone and doing something to help others," said Pvt. Yohana Lemma, Company B, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment. "I'd like to do what I can."
Pallets of neatly stacked sandbags are currently staged and ready for pick-up at the Directorate of Public Works storage facility on Essayons Way, Building 2537. Here, post residents and office personnel can drive vehicles up to the pallets to pick-up the pre-filled sandbags.
The station will remain in its current location until further notice. If the storage location is changed, the Fort Jackson Leader will provide the new location. Sandbags are for use on the installation only. Off-post residents are encouraged to gather any needed sandbags that are provided by the city of Columbia.