Army secretary reacts to tornado damage at Ft. Wood
Sunday, January 9, 2011
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (AP) — The U.S. Army secretary says damage from a tornado that hit Fort Leonard Wood in the warning hours of 2010 took his breath away.
John McHugh toured the southern Missouri installation on Thursday afternoon. The visit came 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.
McHugh says the storm caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage. He says he isn’t worried about the money and that the focus is on the effected people. He says the government is providing housing and the Army is expediting the claims process.
On Friday, officials at Fort Leonard Wood alerted residents to watch out for medical equipment scattered by the tornado.
The Army said in addition to the homes destroyed or damaged, five shipping containers filled with new, unused medical equipment were also hit.
None of the equipment had been used by the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital.
Still, the Army says people could be injured if they accidentally stepped on some of the items, including medical instruments, needles and syringes.
The National Weather Service has estimated that the Fort Leonard Wood tornado was an EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, with winds of 136 to 165 mph.