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Tornado injures five, spares submarines at Georgia Navy base

A brow and shipping container sit twisted and damaged at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay as the result of a tornado that touched down on Sunday evening. The tornado damaged piers, vehicles and downed trees and power poles. Five personnel on base also sustained minor injuries. No damage occurred to any submarines in port. (Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Aaron Xavier Saldana/U.S. Navy )

An apparent tornado damaged buildings, blew vehicles into the sea and injured five people on Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in southern Georgia on Sunday, base officials said.

The storm spared the Navy’s Atlantic Ocean fleet of Ohio-class submarines based at Kings Bay, said Scott Bassett, a spokesman for the base just north of Georgia’s border with Florida. The base houses five nuclear-armed Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines and two Ohio-class guided-missile submarines, which have been converted to use conventional missiles, according to the Defense Department.

People injured in the likely tornado included two sailors who were on duty when the storm struck before 4 p.m. Sunday, Bassett said. Another sailor and a civilian were injured while fishing from a pier on the installation. Another civilian was also reported injured, Bassett said Monday.

None of the injuries were considered serious or required overnight hospital stays, he said.

The Weather Channel described the tornado as an EF1 storm, defined as a tornado the produces moderate damage and produces winds from 86 to 110 miles per hour.

Bassett said the storm’s damage was limited to one pier area. In addition to the five who were injured, the storm blew the roof off a small warehouse building, smashed windows of several vehicles and lifted two vehicles into the air that had been on the pier, blowing them into the water, he said.

Base officials were still assessing the total damage to Kings Bay on Monday, Bassett said.

It was one of more than two dozen tornadoes, rare in the fall and winter months, reported across the nation over the weekend.

One person was killed when a tornado touched down Friday in Missouri, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. More than 20 people were injured Saturday in tornadoes spawned from the same storm system, The Associated Press reported.


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