ANN RealTime Update: 122606, 1455 EST: ERAU has
updated their current status with a more recent official
statement... attached below.
Updated ERAU Press Statement
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has begun the recovery
effort following yesterday's destructive tornado that caused
extensive damage to the Daytona Beach campus.
Damage estimates are being assessed for both buildings and the
fleet of airplanes. The university administration is committed to
being operational again for the beginning of classes in January.
Efforts are already underway to find replacement airplanes for
those that were damaged or destroyed, and structural engineers are
looking at the various campus buildings to establish which can
quickly be repaired and which will be off limits for the
The university has a goal of making space available for all
classes, establishing working offices for the administration
personnel who were housed in Spruance Hall, one of the most
seriously damaged buildings, and making sure there is work space
for all staff and faculty.I t should be noted that the student
resident halls were not damaged in any way.
As clean-up and repair continues, only individuals who are directly
involved in that effort will be allowed on campus.
ANN RealTime Update: 122606, 0817 EST: ERAU
officials have confirmed that 50 to 60 aircraft have been damaged,
many of them heavily so, in the Christmas tornado that swept
through a 100 foot wide section of the DAB airport campus. In
statements to local media, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
President John Johnson has promised that the university will
re-open in time for the start of class schedules on Jan. 10.
Johnson also expressed his relief that none of the ERAU staff,
faculty or students were injured. ERAU offiicals have indicated
that they will be placing calls to Cessna Aircraft Company in order
to secure leased replacements for the aircraft destroyed or
incapacitated in this incident.
ANN has received a number of staggering pix from the site, taken
just after the tornado hit, by Steven Abreu. Steven was on the
North Side of the campus when the tornado came through and was in
an excellent position to capture the fury of what an F2 tornado can
do when Mother Nature decides to have a REALLY bad day. ANN
appreciates Mr. Abreu's assistance with the coverage of this story
and his permission to share these images.
Official ERAU Press Statement (Issued Late On Christmas
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Daytona Beach campus
suffered extensive damage from the severe Christmas Day storm that
hit the Daytona area. There is substantial damage to several
buildings on campus including the administration building, Spruance
Hall, and the Student Center. The maintenance hangar was destroyed
and there was damage to a high percentage of the fleet of
The recovery is already underway and every effort is being made
to have everything operational when classes resume in January -
including using rental planes for the flight line.
In the meantime, people are asked not to visit the campus until
it is declared safe by the authorities. At that time, there will be
an advisory noting that the campus is again open.
ANN RealTime Update:
122506, 2205 EST: ANN has now seen extensive evidence, in
both video and still formats, of the vicious destruction that has
befallen ERAU. We've seen well over a dozen seperate aircraft that
appear to be mangled beyond repair... several that fit the
description of having "been rolled up into a ball." It is hard to
count how many aircraft are destroyed as several appear to have
been rolled into and through each other. It is now obvious that
ERAU has suffered millions of dollars of damage in this
now-confirmed F2 tornado... more info to follow.
Initial RealTime Report: A Christmas Afternoon
tornado, spawned by an aggressive line of thunderstorms (some of
the worst we've felt in months as they came over ANN HQ
building - ANN E-I-C), has done extensive damage to the
Daytona Beach International Airport, and most specifically, to at
least 50 of some 65 aircraft reported by officials at ERAU.
Damage includes aircraft that had been ripped loose from
tie-downs, flipped over in the winds and several with wings that
were literally torn from the aircraft.
There are multiple reports of extensive damage to a maintenance
hangar in the ERAU complex, which did additional damage to several
aircraft within and a small fire in a support building is also
blamed on this meteorological assault.
Airport officials indicate that they have no significant reports
of damage or threats to commercial aircraft operations at the
airport and that such traffic was returning to normal.
Additional damage to the area's homes (mobile home parks in
particular), and other structures were reported, though injuries
have been reported to be minimal with only one, thus far, requiring
Various reports classified the tornado as high as an F2... ANN
will offer additional details as they develop.
[Tornado damage pix provided, with permission, by
photographer Steven Abreu]