The U.S. Army’s Fort Campbell installation is ordering only “mission essential” soldiers to report to work on Monday, Dec. 11 after a major tornado struck the surrounding area over the weekend. The base itself was mostly left unscathed, but damage to nearby communities left roughly 100 military families displaced.
The tornado ripped through Clarksville, Tennessee. At least six people have died as a result of the storm, and dozens were injured and many homes destroyed, according to local media reports. Fort Campbell sits on land on either side of the Tennessee-Kentucky border, with Clarksville as the nearest town on the Tennessee site. The tornado that hit Clarksville had reported winds of up to 150 mph. Photos and video from the area show flattened buildings, debris across roads and other widespread damage.
Fort Campbell itself suffered no discernable damage, according to the garrison public affairs officer, although power was briefly knocked out on Saturday. No military personnel or families were injured by the tornado. Several facilities on base will be open Monday, including the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital.
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As of Sunday evening local time, approximately 100 families were displaced as a result of the tornado, according to the garrison. Those affected are working with their respective units to find temporary housing and get services, according to the Fort Campbell public affairs office. In addition to damaged or destroyed homes, power outages remain an issue in the area outside of the base.
Due to the level of displacement, the base is calling for only mission essential personnel to report Monday, while authorities assess the extent of the damage to the area and see how many people were affected. That will be reassessed Monday afternoon, the garrison told Task & Purpose.
Fort Campbell is home to several units, including the 101st Airborne, 5th Special Forces Group and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. In 2011 another tornado hit an airfield on the installation, destroying one building and damaging others, as well as vehicles.
Any impacted personnel are directed to ask all questions to the Fort Campbell MWR.
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