Tornado Injures 5 at Kings Bay Submarine Base

Trees are fallen at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay as the result of a tornado that touched down on Sunday evening. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Aaron Xavier Saldana)
Trees are fallen at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay as the result of a tornado that touched down on Sunday evening. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Aaron Xavier Saldana)

A tornado tore through a section of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, homeport of the Atlantic Fleet's submarines, on the Georgia coast Sunday, slightly injuring five people but causing no damage to the ballistic missile nuclear submarines or Trident missiles, base officials said Monday.

The tornado's force was concentrated on a pier facility called Site Six, south of where the submarines are docked, said base public affairs officer Scott Bassett.

Light poles and trees were downed, vehicles were damaged and the power of the tornado was such that it tore the bark off trees left standing, he said.

Nonetheless, Capt. Chester Parks, base commander, told FirstCoastNews.com, "All submarines here at Kings Bay are safe and secure. No submarines sustained any damage."

Bassett said eight Trident submarines are assigned to Kings Bay. He said some were at the facility when the tornado struck at about 3:15 p.m. Sunday, but could not immediately say how many.

The National Weather Center rated the storm an EF1 (Enhanced Fujita scale), a tornado generating winds of 86 mph to 110 mph.

Bassett said five people suffered minor injuries, mostly cuts and bruises, and were treated and released at a local hospital. The five included three sailors, a civilian employee, and a dependent of one of the sailors.

The Kings Bay tornado was one of about two dozen reported Sunday from the Great Plains to the Southeast, according to the National Weather Center.

The storm system was responsible for at least four tornadoes that caused extensive damage in Oklahoma and killed one person in southwestern Missouri.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

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