Rains flood proposed OLF site in N.C.

Published 11:20 am Saturday, November 14, 2009

CAMDEN COUNTY, N.C.—The remnants of Hurricane Ida flooded the site in Hale’s Lake, Camden County being considered by the Navy for an outlying landing field.

Former chair of the Camden County Board of Commissioners, Jeff Jennings, took pictures of the flooded Hale’s Lake area from his front porch Thursday. Jennings’ family farm makes up most of the proposed site and according to the NC Commissioner of Agriculture, Steve Troxler, contains some of the most productive farm land east of the Mississippi.

“There is a reason why we call Hale’s Lake a lake,” said Camden County Manager Randell Woodruff. “Anytime a hurricane sits in the Gulf Coast, it develops into what we call a ‘nor’easter’, socking Camden County with rain, leading to moderate to heavy flooding. Unless their pilots can land in 3-5 inches of water, I don’t understand why the Navy would want to put an OLF here.”

According to Woodruff, Hale’s Lake is frequently flooded due to heavy rains, hurricanes and nor’easters. The site experienced severe flooding two years ago last June.

The proposed OLF in Camden County would serve the Master Jet Base at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach. In early 2008, the Camden and Currituck county boards publicly announced their opposition to the proposed airfield.