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Keesler Assessing Gustav Damages

From: Keesler Public Affairs 81st Training Wing    Filed 9/1/08  6:19 p.m. GCN

9/1/2008 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, MISS. -- Keesler AFB officials are preparing preliminary damage assessments from the effects of Hurricane Gustav. Peak sustained winds received from Gustav topped out at 42 miles per hour, with gusts reaching 61 miles per hour. Keesler remains cautious against the residual threat of tornadoes as the storm gradually subsides. 

More than 6,500 personnel and their family members evacuated earlier to safe havens, while nearly 3,500 others - training students, rapid response team members and mission-essential personnel remain sheltered on base. 

"We have a good plan and are executing it well," said Col. Greg Touhill, 81st Training Wing commander. "Our people are safe, their families have evacuated safely and our assets are protected. We have prepared well for this. Our support personnel have done an excellent job and have implemented the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina. 

"Safety is our number one concern right now," said Colonel Touhill. "Everyone should remain in place until the all-clear is given. We are continually monitoring the situation and urge everyone to remain vigilant until the storm passes." 

More information will be released as it becomes available. All evacuated Keesler personnel located at safe havens have been directed to maintain daily contact with Air Force Personnel Center hotline, 1-800-435-9941, for further instructions. 

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