Air Force gives up fight to stop water from engulfing Offutt; one-third of base is flooded

Air Force gives up fight to stop water from engulfing Offutt; one-third of base is flooded
World-Herald News Service

The Air Force’s 55th Wing halted efforts to stop the Missouri River from engulfing Offutt Air Force Base overnight Saturday.

About one-third of the base is now underwater, Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake, a 55th Wing spokeswoman, said Sunday. Sixty buildings, mostly on the south end of the base, have been damaged. Thirty are completely inundated with as much as 8 feet of water, including the 55th Wing headquarters building, the E-4B Nightwatch hangar and the Bennie Davis Maintenance Facility. There are about 200 buildings on the base.

The headquarters of U.S. Strategic Command, located on a hill, is unaffected. Many of its senior leaders are participating in a worldwide military exercise called Global Lightning, which began Wednesday. StratCom’s new headquarters also has suffered no damage.

The base commissary, shopping exchange, chapel, and all base housing is out of the flood zone, and no on-base residents have been evacuated, Blake said.

“Half the base is in crisis mode, and half the base everything is normal,” she said.

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