Ivan and the Navy

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A tornado came very close to the Naval Support Activity in Bay County, and hurricane force winds swept through taking trees and bringing the bay waters onto shore, but Lt. Commander Dan Stoddard says the base escaped with fairly minimal damage.

"We had about a half dozen buildings have some roof damage and we had significant number of trees down. Some large trees like the one you see behind us."

The worst damage was felt financially with about $65,000 in lost labor for administrative leave for employees to go home and prepare for the storm. The Naval Surface Warfare Center lost an estimated $1.26 million because of lost labor and production.

With only about 30 people on base during the storm, standard operations were still important.

"Power was the biggest issue. The tornado that came down Thomas Drive, which some of our people actually saw go by, had taken down some of the power lines at the substation that fed the base, so we were out of power here for about a day and a half."

The base even has its own meteorologist on hand, ready to answer questions and help the base prepare before and after the storm, and responding to any threat, even weather, is something the Naval Support Activity is always ready to handle.