Recovery efforts are still ongoing following a Christmas day tornado that caused extensive damage to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach, Fla., campus.
There is substantial damage to several buildings on the campus, including Spruance Hall, which houses administrative offices, and the Student Center. The university’s maintenance hangar was destroyed when the tornado cut a 100-foot-wide swath through the campus, which is adjacent to the Daytona Beach International Airport.
A high percentage of the university’s airplane fleet also was damaged. University officials have confirmed that 50 to 60 aircraft were damaged, with many planes ripped loose from tie-downs and flipped over, while others had wings and other parts torn from them during the tornado.
Damage estimates are being assessed for the buildings and the fleet of airplanes. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University President John Johnson has promised that the university will reopen in time for the start of classes Jan. 10.
Efforts are underway to find replacement airplanes, while structural engineers are assessing campus buildings to determine which ones can be repaired quickly and which ones will be closed for repairs.
Johnson also noted that while the tornado was devastating, it was a relief that it occurred when the university was closed for the Christmas holidays, so no one was injured.
As clean-up and repair continues, only individuals who are directly involved in those efforts will be allowed on campus.
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