Thursday, December 03, 2009
The crew of Coast Guard’s Long-Range Navigation (LORAN) Station in Attu, is digging out after storm pounded the island with wind gusts of 178 mph and more than a one and a half feet of snow. The storm which brought sustained winds of 125 m.p.h. or category three hurricane winds and gusts that equal some of the strongest winds of a category five hurricane slammed into the island causing damage to the LORAN station with a communications antenna breaking from three of its securing mounts. The crew of the station has been busy making repairs and has spent more than 100 hours on snow removal.The winter wind storm arrived Saturday afternoon with the winds gradually growing to such a state that all personnel were restricted to the main building. "This high of a wind is fairly abnormal for us," said Chief Petty Officer Brad Schlenpitz the executive petty officer of the station, and a Jacksonville, Fla. native. "I arrived here last January, and this is the first time I have experienced anything like this." The LORAN station stayed operational throughout the storm. LORAN Station Attu is located at the western-most edge of the Alaskan Aleutian Islands. With twenty active duty personnel stationed there as a one year assignment.