Army secretary to tour Missouri base hit by tornado

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (AP) — The U.S. Army secretary was heading to Missouri’s Fort Leonard Wood to assess damage from a New Year’s Eve tornado.

John McHugh was scheduled to visit the southern Missouri installation on Thursday afternoon. The visit comes two days after the Army’s chief of staff toured the post and pledged to get financial help from Congress for soldiers and families affected by the late December severe weather.

An EF-3 tornado destroyed about 30 homes and left more than 60 others needing repairs. But thousands of people were off the post when the tornado struck.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Army’s chief of staff is pledging to get financial help from Congress for soldiers and families affected by last week’s tornado at Fort Leonard Wood.

Gen. George Casey Jr. toured the sprawling southern Missouri post on Tuesday — four days after an EF-3 tornado destroyed about 30 homes and left more than 60 others needing repairs.

Thousands of people were off the post when the tornado struck on New Year’s Eve. KYTV reports many soldiers and their families returned Monday and Tuesday to find their homes gone.

Casey noted that only a few people were injured. He said most people at the post had a 15-minute warning through sirens and a public address system.

He also praised the support from neighboring communities that have donated thousands of items of food, clothing, toys and bedding.

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