By Staff ReportsApril 26, 2018
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Fort Rucker officials report that cleanup operations and repair work continue after a tornado hit the post without warning April 22 afternoon.
While the post sustained no injuries or significant damage, numerous trees and power lines were knocked down, and 11 housing units were damaged, including one where the family residing there had to be relocated to temporary quarters, report officials.
"It was impressive how the people of Fort Rucker and the surrounding communities came together to deal with the aftermath," said Col. Brian E. Walsh, Fort Rucker garrison commander. "It was a total team effort between post personnel and our off-post partners in the Wiregrass to get the post back up and running in a safe manner."
Immediately following the incident, the installation closed its gates so that damage assessment, repairs and cleanup operations could begin, according to Lt. Col. Scott Wile, director of the Directorate of Public Safety said.
"We made it through the tornado without sustaining any injuries and we wanted to ensure that the same could be said during the recovery," Wile said. "We had military police, emergency responders, and Directorate of Public Works and Alabama Power personnel out dealing with the damage, and the less people we had on the roads, the safer they would be. They did great work out there ensuring no one needed any assistance, and getting the roads cleared and the power restored to the areas affected by the tornado."
Power was restored on post a little after 8 p.m., and the post reopened and resumed normal operations, according to Mark Smith, director of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.
Since the severe weather season is just getting started, DPS officials want to remind people what to do if a tornado strikes the post again.
Staff Sgt. Wayne Shoemaker, DPS Operations NCO, said people should:
• Check the Fort Rucker Facebook and Twitter pages, along with the post website, for information instead of calling officials to keep the lines at the provost marshal office and installation operations center clear for emergencies only;
• Stay off the roads for their safety, and the safety of emergency, Directorate of Public Works, and other response and recovery personnel until word is put out that it is safe to do so;
• If traveling on the installation when a disaster hits, go straight to their quarters or to a safe location and keep the roads clear.