Staff Sgt. Michael Olson, National Air and Space Intelligence Center, helps to remove a shed from the front yard of someone’s home during recovery operations. Residents worked alongside other volunteers from around Wright-Patterson AFB and base emergency responders to ensure everyone’s safety and begin the cleanup process. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Air Force chief of staff to tour tornado-ravaged homes near Wright-Patt

Gen. David L. Goldfein will tour The Prairies at Wright Field to view the damage inflicted by and EF 3 tornado Monday. Around 150 homes were damaged in the Prairies neighborhood including 14 homes that have since been deemed “unhinhabitable,” according to Wright Patt.

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Displaced families were directed to temporary lodging facilities to ensure they had a safe place to stay during recovery operations, according to the base. Working with the privatized housing contractor for the Prairies neighborhood, base officials inspected all units for structural damage.

Workers and volunteers cleared downed trees and debris that covered the area and the end of Tuesday, all roads had been cleared for traffic. Electrical service was also restored and an inspection for any exposed or downed lines was conducted, according to the base.

Goldfein, who is the most senior uniformed officer in the Air Force, is at Wright-Patt today to preside over an assumption of command ceremony. Lt. Gen. Arnold W Bunch Jr. will be promoted to four-star rank and will assume leadership of the Air Force Materiel Command during the 1:30 p.m. ceremony.

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Damage to Wright-Patt and the immediate surrounding area was mostly confined to the Prairies neighborhood. A survey of both Area A and Area B was completed and minimal damage including downed trees and debris was found, according to the base.

But, Airfield operations were temporarily suspended Tuesday for an inspection of runways and taxiways. Around 331 pounds of debris were removed from the Airfield and operations were deemed safe to continue later in the day.

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