Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., appears to have received the heaviest damage after taking a direct hit from the Category 4 hurricane.
Base officials started assessment and recovery operations Aug. 30 and by evening, provided the first hot meals to the 6,000 military members, civilians and family members who weathered the storm at the base, all escaping without injury.
"Initial reports show drastic damage to the industrial and housing areas," said Maj. Ray Mottley, commander of the 81st Civil Engineering Squadron. A complete damage assessment, to be conducted with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is expected to provide a more complete picture.
About 50 percent of the base was under water, and the commissary, base exchange and some base housing units were flooded with more than six feet of water, Mottley reported. Generators were in place to keep critical facilities operating, but Mottley said the base hospital and much of the base remains without power.
However, Keesler's airfield remains operational during daylight hours, and it has a fully operational sewage system and access to drinking water, Mottley said.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Thought you ought to know department: In addition to the military effort to jelp the local civilian populations affected by Katrina, the military is also engaged in substantial self-help as many of its bases along the Gulf Coast were also damaged by the storm. Most of these bases are the equivalent of small cities and have serious problems as noted here. You might pause to consider that the personnel and their families assigned to these bases are having to restore their own facilities as they are helping in surrounding communities...