WALLOPS — NASA officials this week reported its flight facility on Wallops Island, which has become one of the agency’s major launch points in recent years, sustained only minor damage during Hurricane Sandy.
An initial assessment team surveyed roads and facilities at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Tuesday and reported a number of downed trees but otherwise minimal impact in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. NASA officials are crediting a recently completed beach replenishment project for minimizing Sandy’s impact to critical launch facilities on Wallops.
“The new beach took a lot of energy out of the waves as they came in,” said Wallops Chief of Safety Glen Liebig. “It did exactly what it was designed to do.”
While the initial assessments look good, road and beach inspections continued throughout the week. The base remained closed as of mid-week as inspections continued. At Sandy’s peak, wind gusts topped out at around 75 mph on both Wallops Island and the main base area while sustained winds were around 60 mph.