AP NEWS

Flood-damaged Air Force base near Omaha reopens runway

March 29, 2019
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This March 17, 2019 photo released by the U.S. Air Force shows an aerial view of Offutt Air Force Base and the surrounding areas affected by flood waters in Neb. Surging unexpectedly strong and up to 7 feet high, the Missouri River floodwaters that poured on to much the Nebraska air base that houses the U.S. Strategic Command overwhelmed the frantic sandbagging by troops and their scramble to save sensitive equipment, munitions and aircraft. (Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake/The U.S. Air Force via AP)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AP) — A spokesman says a flood-damaged U.S. Air Force base in Nebraska has returned to full operation after its runway was deemed safe.

Offutt Air Force Base spokesman Drew Nystrom said Friday that an assessment team also determined the flooding didn’t damage taxiways at the base, where water inundated nearly 80 buildings after heavy rains and snowmelt swelled the nearby Missouri River.

Nystrom wouldn’t say whether all nine aircraft that were flown to safety were back at the base south of Omaha, but he says some returned Thursday. Other aircraft were towed to higher ground.

Offutt units include the U.S. Strategic Command headquarters. Nystrom says its new $1.3 billion headquarters wasn’t damaged.

Officials say the Air Force needs $4.9 billion in extra funding to rebuild and repair Offutt and Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida over the next three years. Tyndall sustained hurricane damage last fall.