Spartanburg, SC (WSPA)
While Hurricane Irma is putting thousands of lives in danger on land, the navy is on the move getting ships ready for the storm in the sea.
Many ships are no longer docked in Jacksonville, Florida. They’ve been moved out to sea or to other locations.
John Harrell is a retired Navy Officer, who remembers his days at sea and has his eye on the storm.
Whether on land or sea, wind gusts of more than 100 miles per hour are no match for buildings, cars or boats.
Harrell knows first hand how rough the waters can get, “the waves were estimated at 100 feet, the estimated the winds by how large the waves were. at approximately 170 mile and hour gusts.”
John started serving his country in 1959. He fought in the Vietnam war and faced many up’s and down’s, “I’ve got a lot of regrets and I’ve got a lot of good times.”
News of Irma’s arrival is causing memories to flood his mind. Currently Navy ships along the East Coast are preparing and making plans to ride out the storm. John knows how they may face this one, “with the strong side you try to get to the outside edge and ride it, if you’re running the weak side you try to go down and ride it.”
Navy officials out of Norfolk, Virginia tell 7 News that two navy ships are being loaded with food, medical essentials and even water. They are stocking up before the storm… so they’re able to help after it hits.
John says the Navy can withstand anything, ” navy ships as far as i know of have to go out to sea to ride the typhoon or hurricane…they cannot stay in port….if you stay in port it will sink you.”
John and his fellow soldiers were fighting to survive…now ships and their crews are charting the course to save lives.