On Wednesday, 20 November 2019, Civil Air Patrol's Marco Island Senior Squadron (MICAP) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the start of a project to replace the hangar destroyed by Hurricane Irma.
The construction is set to start in January with funding from a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The grant covers most of the rebuilding cost but the Squadron still needs to raise funds to cover the balance of the project cost and is currently involved in a fundraising campaign.
Major Bob Corriveau, squadron project manager, said, "The building will be exactly the same as before Irma, The only difference is that it will conform to the higher wind standards required by current building codes." Corriveau said construction is expected to be completed by May 2020.
Corriveau explained that after IRMA passed, the office portion of the building was left untouched; the 60 by 70-ft. hangar section was "crushed as if by a giant fist".
"It had to be a micro burst or a tornado," said Corriveau at the time. "It’s like a giant wind hand grabbed the hangar door and pushed it back. The hangar is totally destroyed but you walk into the squadron room, and you wouldn’t know anything was different."
For now and until construction commences, the side of the building where the hangar is supposed to be will continue to be covered with blue tarps, a reminder of Irma's destructive path through Southwest Florida.
This article was produced from the Southeast Region Online News system. Electronic distribution is made possible through syndicated services. For more information, contact the Chief Editor Lt Col Judy Steele at JSteele@sercap.us.