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Hill AFB personnel work around the clock for storm cleanup

Ricardo Castillo, a base grounds maintenance contractor, cuts a tree behind the fire station on the installation’s west side.

Ricardo Castillo, a base grounds maintenance contractor, cuts a tree behind the fire station on the installation’s west side as part of cleanup efforts Sept. 15, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. A major windstorm hit northern Utah Sept. 8-9 causing power outages and structural damage across the installation. Base and contractor personnel have been working around the clock during and after the storm to maintain safety and security for the installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Taylor Ferry)

Stanley Hewlen, a base grounds maintenance contractor, drags a tree branch to be shredded.

Stanley Hewlen, a base grounds maintenance contractor, drags a tree branch to be shredded on the installation’s east side as part of cleanup efforts Sept. 15, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. A major windstorm hit northern Utah Sept. 8-9 causing power outages and structural damage across the installation. Base and contractor personnel have been working around the clock during and after the storm to maintain safety and security for the installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Taylor Ferry)

Randy Rohwer, a base grounds maintenance contractor, cuts a tree on the installation’s east side.

Randy Rohwer, a base grounds maintenance contractor, cuts a tree on the installation’s east side as part of cleanup efforts Sept. 15, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. A major windstorm hit northern Utah Sept. 8-9 causing power outages and structural damage across the installation. Base and contractor personnel have been working around the clock during and after the storm to maintain safety and security for the installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Taylor Ferry)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- The 75th Civil Engineer Squadron played a crucial role in the cleanup efforts at Hill Air Force Base following a serious wind storm that blew through northern Utah Sept. 8-9.

According to the 75th Operations Support Squadron Weather Flight, winds gusted as fast as 84 miles per hour on base causing power outages, damage to fences, roofs, vehicles, and road signs. In addition, more than 100 trees were blown over.

“This is probably one of the worst storms I’ve seen and I’ve been here going on 28 years,” said Steven Charnews, a heavy repair superintendent for the 75th CES. “We worked around the clock the first evening with my heavy repair shop.”

Base and contractor personnel worked 24-hour shifts to clear roadways and other areas with pay loaders, backhoes, and bucket trucks to ensure safety of the Team Hill community. Some cleanup efforts and a damage assessment is still ongoing.

“Our teams have worked tirelessly during and after the storm in order to restore safety for the installation. I want to thank everyone for their selfless efforts in returning the base back to normal,” said Col. Jenise Carroll, commander for the 75th Air Base Wing.

Similar magnitude wind storms hit the top of Utah in December 2011 and September 2016 causing power outages and structural damage across the installation.