Hurricane Causes Damage At Whiting, NAS and PNS
Aviation business are, like everyone
else in the far-western Florida Panhandle, trying to get back on
track after Hurricane Dennis roared through on Sunday. Many say the
storm could have been much worse -- but they’re still
NAS Whiting Field
Like NAS Pensacola, Whiting Field sent aircraft out of
harm’s way, flying them to other facilities around the
country ahead of the hurricane. Those aircraft will be back by
Thursday, according to officials at the base.
Remarkably, the entire field was evacuated by air in a span of
just four hours, according to base spokesman Patrick Nichols, who
spoke with ANN on Tuesday.
“We had quite a bit of damage,” Nichols said.
“Roofs were blown off. A couple of hangar doors were blown
in. Family housing is a mess.”
Power was still out at the base on Tuesday. Trees were down all
over the grounds, Nichols said.
Whiting is home to Training Wing 5 as well as a squadron of
The term “dodged a bullet” is a popular one at NAS
Pensacola, where Hurricane Ivan did so much damage ten months ago.
“The Naval Aviation Museum wasn’t damaged at
all,” Cmdr. Craig Hoefer told ANN. The museum, which
sustained substantial damage in Ivan, was expected to be reopened
by Thursday at the latest.
“In all, it looks pretty good,” said NASP Public
Affairs Officer Harry White. “A couple of buildings took hits
– one hangar was damaged and power is spotty.” The
hangar, housing Training Wing 6 and VT-86, sustained moderate
damage, he said.
NAS Pensacola was back in operation Wednesday.
Pensacola Regional Airport was closed for two days in the wake
of Hurricane Dennis. Two FBOs were damaged in the storm, while the
main terminal sustained severe water damage in areas. The airport
reopened on Tuesday, after authorities conducted a careful FOD
search along the runways.