Kadena recovers from Typhoon Man-Yi

  • Published
  • By Maj. Dani Johnson
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
After more than 24 hours in the highest typhoon condition and with winds gusting up to 105 mph, Kadena Air Base is recovering from Typhoon Man-Yi.

The base entered the highest typhoon condition July 12 with the expectation the typhoon would hit the island sometime July 13.

The typhoon hit the base shortly after midnight July 13 and maintained 77 mph winds with gusts to 105 mph until approximately 5:30 p.m. when it was determined it was safe for damage assessment teams to start working, according to Capt. Jonathan Wilson, 18th Operations Support Squadron weather flight commander. It wasn't until approximately 5:30 a.m. July 14 that the wing commander declared all clear and safe for base members to leave their residences.

"The eye of the storm did not pass directly over Okinawa, it was approximately 24 miles off of the western coast," said the captain. "Kadena and the southern tip of the island was partially clipped by the eye but we never fully entered it."

During the storm, many base residents experienced power and water outages, according to 18th Civil Engineer Group officials. In addition, many trees on base lost limbs and branches, resulting in a considerable amount of debris.

"There's a lot of damage to foliage and trees across base," said Lt. Col. Bart Barnhart, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron commander. "There are some buildings damaged but nothing significant."

Civil engineer teams started cleaning up areas early July 14 , restoring power in some areas and bringing air conditioning units back on line. According to the civil engineers approximately 40 percent of the base lost power at some point during the typhoon.

Aircraft evacuated to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, will return by July 16 according to 18th Operations Group officials.

Typhoon Man-Yi was strongest typhoon to hit the base since 2003.