YOMITAN, Okinawa — Aircraft were flying through clear Okinawa skies once again on Saturday, but cleanup crews and base residents throughout the island were busy cleaning the debris caused by Typhoon Man-yi.
No serious damage was reported. There were scattered power and water outages as the storm swept over the island with winds gusting to 110 mph while depositing almost 15 inches of rain.
It was business as usual once the storm passed, with tree limbs and other debris to remove and stores to restock. The commissaries and exchanges were crowded with folks venturing outside their homes for the first time since the bases declared heightened typhoon conditions Thursday.
“We were lucky,” said Navy Cmdr. Karen Tsiantas, chief of staff for Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa, as she hauled a heavy tree limb to the curb of her Stearley Heights home. “We never lost power at all — or water or cable TV. The worst thing we had to deal with was a little bit of water coming from under the sliding glass door and we controlled that with towels.”
“And we lost a small part of the roof — though it didn’t leak,” she said. “And we’ve lost a lot of vegetation.
“We’ve been here three summers and this is definitely the worst storm,” she said.
In another base neighborhood, Marine Sgt. Maj. Jose Henao, of Marine Air Support Squadron 22, retrieved a street sign that was blown off its pole by Man-yi’s strong winds.
“Everything was fine here,” Henao said. “We just had some damage outside and some trees and branches broke.”
He said he and his wife and two children waited out the storm by watching videos.
“We consider it very fortunate that the storm didn’t hit us very hard at all,” Henao said. “We prepared for it. I let my Marines off early Thursday afternoon so everyone could do what needed to be done before the typhoon hit.”
On the Army’s Torii Station, little damage was reported, but the naked body of a Japanese man was discovered washed up on the beach. Tenth Area Support Group spokeswoman Dottie Vick said the body could not be identified.
An Okinawa police spokesman said the body was discovered sometime after 9 a.m. Saturday.
“Police were notified by the Army at 9:40 a.m. that the body of a man appearing to be Asian was found at Torii Beach,” a spokesman at the Kadena police station said. “He is believed to be a Japanese man in his 40s or 50s. He had no clothing.”
His identification and the cause of the death are under investigation, he said.
On camps Foster and Lester, recovery crews braved pouring rain Saturday afternoon to remove downed trees and other vegetation. During the storm, base residents lost power sporadically throughout Friday and water was out from noon Friday until 3 a.m. Saturday.
At the U.S. Naval Hospital on Camp Lester, three “typhoon babies,” were born, hospital spokesman Brian Davis said. Expectant mothers coming within a month of their delivery dates were told to report to the hospital on Thursday in case the drop in barometric pressure caused early deliveries.
A Marine spokesman on Saturday said he had not heard of any significant damage on the island’s Marine bases.
More than 10 inches of rain was dumped on the island during the storm, according to Kadena’s 18th Weather Flight. Rain continued Saturday night.
Meanwhile, on Saturday JAL resumed all its flight services between Naha and the mainland, according to a spokesman.
ANA also resumed all flights with some delays, a spokeswoman said.
Skymark Airlines resumed flights between Naha and Haneda and Kobe, but a few flights that were scheduled to depart Naha were canceled, according to its Web site announcement.
Stars and Stripes reporters Chiyomi Sumida and Dave Ornauer contributed to this report.