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The windstorms that raged across Europe last week tore the roof off a building at Wetzel Kaserne in Baumholder, Germany, on Thursday. Engineers, contractors and public works officials spent Monday surveying the damage, which also included a fence and a motor pool garage at other bases in the garrison.

The windstorms that raged across Europe last week tore the roof off a building at Wetzel Kaserne in Baumholder, Germany, on Thursday. Engineers, contractors and public works officials spent Monday surveying the damage, which also included a fence and a motor pool garage at other bases in the garrison. (Geoff Ziezulewicz / S&S)

BAUMHOLDER, Germany — The massive windstorm that swept through Europe last week took its toll on the U.S. Army community here, causing $300,000 in damage to one structure alone.

As gusts measured more than 110 mph on late Thursday and early Friday morning, the roof of building 8875 on Wetzel Kaserne was pried off its wooden trusses, said Patrick Brady, the public works director of U.S. Army Garrison Hessen, who was called in to aid the situation.

In addition, an installation fence was damaged and a motor pool garage was left with a leaky roof.

The fact that building 8875’s roof was one big piece instead of tiles did not help its chances, Brady said.

“This one becomes a flying wing,” he said of the roof, which lay smashed in the parking lot in front of the building Monday. “It just peeled right off.”

No one was injured, he said. At the time of the storm, no tenants or units were occupying the top two floors of the affected building, and the first floor was being renovated.

While repair costs and timelines were still being estimated, Brady said that cleaning up the shattered roof, installing a temporary roof and replacing it with something permanent could cost in the neighborhood of $300,000, which would come out of the Baumholder garrison’s contingency funds.

Replacement materials must first be found before a temporary cover can be put on, which would take three to four weeks once the material is in the contractors’ hands, Brady said. A permanent roof would take four to six months to construct.

“We have 700 square meters of roof we’ve got to cover,” he said.

The hilly confines of Wetzel lie at the westernmost area of the garrison, and at the top of a hill, which may have contributed to the damage, Brady said.

A straight line can almost be drawn from the damaged roof to the damaged fence at the nearby Dispensary Kaserne and to the motor pool building for the 1st Battalion, 35th Armor Regiment at Ray Barracks, he said.

The roof debris should all be cleaned up by Thursday, said Reiner Zeidler, an official with Services Klee-Ehrenfels, a German construction company that contracts with the Army.

Brady said the first order of business was cleaning up the debris at Wetzel and getting a temporary roof onto the building in order to prevent any further weather-related damage.

A more concrete timeline for all repairs should be determined sometime this week, Brady said.


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