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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wake survived typhoon—barely

Advertiser Staff

Typhoon Ioke left Wake Island's runway intact and operational, but runway lights are missing and 70 percent of the tiny island's facilities and buildings are moderately to severely damaged, according to an Air Force assessment this week.

The initial assessment by members of Andersen Air Force Base's 36th Contingency Response Group — the 36th Expeditionary Contingency Response Squadron — found that the power grid sustained extensive damage to switches and transformers. Power lines to the majority of buildings and backup generators were damaged. Out of 31 transportation/fuel vehicles, three were non-operational and nine required minor maintenance.

The fuel-transfer system suffered minor damage. The island had no running water, but about 8,000 gallons of water that can be purified was discovered behind the island's water plant.

Late last month, several days before Ioke hit the island — 2,300 miles west of Honolulu — the Air Force evacuated its 188 residents in two planes to Hickam Air Force Base.