BELLE CHASSE, La. (NNS) -- The child development center (CDC) at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NAS JRB) New Orleans, reopened Sept. 4, after Hurricane Isaac left its devastating mark on the center.
The CDC was closed for several days after Hurricane Isaac hit the area seven years to the date of Hurricane Katrina.
Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast responded to the crisis at the CDC by providing 15 military and civilian workers Aug. 30, as part of a Contingency Engineering Response Team (CERT) that came to NAS JRB.
The response team worked throughout the week after Isaac hit, assessing the building and ensuring that all health hazards had been evaluated before the center opened its doors to parents and children.
"We have engineers and government contractors going through the buildings room by room to check and determine if we have water infiltration or other health or safety hazards," said Bill Bankhead, project management branch head for NAVFAC Southeast.
The team consisted of structural, electrical, and mechanical engineers, architects, roofing specialists, community planners, and construction contract specialists. The team worked diligently throughout the week to remove any debris that was left after the storm and to ensure that basic functions such as: sanitation, water, electricity and communications were restored.
The CDC reopened its doors just in time for Brooke Creek, a resident in the area who was impacted by the storm which left her and her family without electricity for several days.
"Being able to bring my son back is very helpful, because my husband is deployed at the moment," said Creek. "I am very thankful that the center opened back-up because I have to go back to school as well. If I wasn't able to bring him here then I would have missed school which would have been detrimental."
Many of the parents who were impacted by the storm were not able to bring their child in, but for those who could make it on base, the CDC reopening was essential.
"Today is my daughter's first day back, and it's my first day back to work," said Army Human Resource Specialist Kia Jason, stationed at NAS JRB. "I was flooded in after the storm and was not able to leave my house to even get to work."
Donna Spoon, lead education technician for the preschool side of the center, was glad to have the school back open for the parents in the area so they can get back to work and help with the base clean-up.
"I am glad to see the center has opened back up so that we all can get back to work," said Spoon. "Being able to get back to work and help with any damages the storm may have caused is something that a lot of the parents are focusing on."
For more news from Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, visit www.navy.mil/local/jrbno/.