Hurricane Michael unleashed ‘widespread catastrophic damage’ at Tyndall Air Force Base, officials say

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By Elizabeth Zwirz-Fox News

Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida, suffered “severe damage” to “the base infrastructure” as a result of getting pummeled by Hurricane Michael, base officials said Thursday.

Initial assessments were conducted at the base after the storm, which left Tyndall without power, water and sewer service, an official told Fox News.

Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) posted an update on Facebook earlier Thursday, saying that recovery teams had uncovered “widespread catastrophic damage” at the facility. And while inspecting some of the base’s housing locations, teams “found widespread roof damage to nearly every home.”

Aerial footage of the destruction showed debris strewn about damaged buildings, overturned vehicles and several scattered trees either cracked in half or uprooted from the ground.

Michael, now a tropical storm, was a Category 4 hurricane upon making landfall Wednesday afternoon northwest of Mexico Beach and just outside Panama City, according to forecasters.

Tyndall AFB, situated on a peninsula just south of Panama City, “took a direct hit from Hurricane Michael,” the base said on Facebook Wednesday.

Ahead of the storm, the base, home to the 325th Fighter Wing and some 600 military families, was evacuated of all but essential personnel. The base’s aircraft, which include F-22 Raptors, were flown hundreds of miles away as a precaution. As of Thursday, the evacuation order was still in effect and the base remained closed, officials said. All those assigned to ride out the hurricane on location were accounted for without any reported injuries, they added.

“At this point, Tyndall residents and evacuated personnel should remain at their safe location,” Col. Brian Laidlaw, 325th Fighter Wing commander, wrote on Facebook. “We are actively developing plans to reunite families and plan to provide safe passage back to base housing.”

 

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