Yokota recovers from historic snowfall

Base Info
Snow covers Yokota Air Base, Japan, after the record-breaking snowstorm on Feb. 15, 2014. Yokota accumulated more than 35 inches of snow in the month of February. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Soo C. Kim / released)
Snow covers Yokota Air Base, Japan, after the record-breaking snowstorm on Feb. 15, 2014. Yokota accumulated more than 35 inches of snow in the month of February. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Soo C. Kim / released)

Yokota recovers from historic snowfall

by: Tech. Sgt. Melissa K. Mekpongsatorn, 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs | .
U.S. Air Force | .
published: February 22, 2014

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Major storms dumped a record breaking 35 inches of snow on Yokota Air Base during the last two weeks.

On Feb. 8 and 9 a record 12.7 inches of snow covered Yokota and then on Valentine's Day that record was almost doubled.

"The Valentine's snow event was historical," said Maj. Brandee Harral, 374th Operations Support Squadron weather flight commander. "The 21 inches of snow we received within a 24 hour period exceeded the maximum amount of snowfall ever recorded for the entire month of February."

Prior to this year's snow events the max snowfall within a 24 hour period on record at Yokota was 12.3 inches.

According to the weather flight Yokota is normally affected by three snow events per year. Two of which are typically minor, with snow fall at two inches or less and the other bringing in between four and six inches.

The abnormal winter weather caused many challenges and closures. Several agencies on base worked together to get the base back up and running.

"During these storms our civil engineers did a tremendous job in clearing the airfield and recovering the base," said Col. Clarence W. Lukes Jr., 374th Airlift Wing vice commander. "Meanwhile, our Logistics Readiness Squadron worked to keep the snow removal vehicles operational, and our security forces made sure we all were safe out on the roads."

The teamwork wasn't limited to those in uniform. The Yokota community came together and to help each other out to overcome the snow. Neighbors helped dig out cars and clean the sidewalks, sharing equipment to ensure everyone was taken care of.

"This total team effort, our military, civilians, and families all working together is truly another great example of what makes us the "Best Wing in the Pacific"," said Lukes.

Tags: Yokota Air Base, Base Info
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