Details/Information for Canadian Forces (CF) Operation TEMPEST

CF Overseas Operations have most often operated within the construct of an international mandate. As such, the International Information is presented first in order to provide the context of the Canadian Operation (displayed second). Eventually, all rotations associated with the particular Canadian operation will also be displayed.

TEMPEST
Relief Efforts at Eluthra, Bahamas, by
HMCS Protecteur and CFB Halifax Personnel.

International Information

International Operation Name: Operation TEMPEST

International Mission Name: Operation TEMPEST

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name: North America

Location: United States

Mission Date: 10 September 1992 - 26 October 1992

Mission Mandate: To assist in the rebuilding efforts in the Bahamas and Florida after Hurricane Andrew.

Mission/Operation Notes:

Hurricane Andrew first became a tropical depression on August 16, 1992, becoming the first tropical storm of the season on August 17. The storm moved rapidly westward and on August 22 reached hurricane strength. Having become a Category 4 storm with wind gusts exceeding 300 km/h, Andrew slowly moved westward at 30 km/h. Andrew first struck the Bahamian island of Eleuthra on 23 August, destroying over 470 homes and leaving 1,700 people homeless. It then moved on to south Florida on 24 August. Homestead and south Miami were particularly hard hit, with more than 250,000 people left homeless and 82,000 businesses destroyed or damaged. Although weakened by the Florida landmass, Andrew then regained strength over the Gulf of Mexico before hitting Louisiana with winds of 200 km/h. Andrew was one of the most expensive natural disasters in history up to that time. Over 60 people were killed and damage exceeded US $20 billion. Two million people were evacuated from their homes.

On 7 September, Prime Minister Brain Mulroney offered assistance. A team of Airfield Engineers left Canada several days later, while HMCS Protecteur left Halifax on 10 September, loaded with building supplies, tools and vehicles for use by the Airfield Engineering contingent. Arriving in Miami on 14 September, Protecteur’s crew joined the engineers in rebuilding two schools in Dade County: Pine Villa Elementary School and Mays Middle School. Dental and medical personnel from the ship joined cooks in volunteering their services at an American Red Cross relief centre set up at the Pine Villa School. The effort at the schools was completed by 28 September, with the engineers flying home and Protecteur sailing for Halifax.

The next stage of Op Tempest began on 15 October when Protecteur left Halifax for Eleuthra. Arriving in Nassau on the 19th, they were met by Airfield Engineers who were surveying the damage and conferring with Bahamian officials as to where the Canadian assistance would be most effective. It was decided that Protecteur’s personnel would build relief homes in the towns of Bogue and Current. Construction started on 21 October, with supplies being flown in by 429 Squadron. Over 37 homes were rebuilt or repaired including a church and a school. Protecteur left on 26 October bound for her new home in Esquimalt.

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