Heavy rains cause little damage on U.S. bases in S. Korea
July 30, 2006
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — Heavy rain this week canceled some training exercises but left little or no damage at bases throughout the peninsula, officials said Friday.
Thursday’s seven inches of rain and continued showers on Friday produced nowhere near the kind of damage that resulted on July 12, when eight inches of rain fell quickly and overwhelmed Camp Casey and outlying businesses.
“The rain we had previously made everybody really cautious … and really responsive,” said John Nowell, spokesman for Installation Management Agency-Korea Region Office. Area II and Area IV also survived relatively unscathed, officials said.
The Area II commander, Col. Ron Stephens, did raise the road condition level to amber on Friday afternoon, meaning that the military should use the minimum amount of vehicles necessary for operations and each vehicle dispatch must be signed by at least a military O-3 or GS-12 equivalent civilian.
Some training and community events in Area I were postponed due to weather, a 2nd Infantry Division spokeswoman said.
The weather also affected Air Force activity. At Osan Air Base, officials Friday called off about 50 sorties.
Kunsan Air Base lost a tree at Wolf Pack Park and sustained damage to its theater.
“The theater has been flooded and should be up and running in a day or two, as soon as the exercise is over,” Master Sgt. Anthony Davis, a base spokesman, said Friday.
Most other base officials said they were relieved Friday that their worst problems appeared to be leaky roofs.
The heavy rains meant that servicemembers tasked to flood watch were combing over drains and ditches, looking for anything that might clog drainage systems.
Soldiers work the night shift looking for flood problems if the flood condition goes above level two, which it reached Thursday, said Staff Sgt. Raymundo Ogoy, flood control noncommissioned officer in charge at Camp Red Cloud.
At flood condition three, soldiers and their families living off-post are directed to come to the base, where they are given fresh water and other essentials, Ogoy said. Fortunately, the emergency operations center never raised the threat to that level in this instance, Ogoy said.
Franklin Fisher contributed to this report.