Kaiserslautern, Baumholder kids get snow days
Stars and Stripes March 3, 2006
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Residents of Kaiserslautern and Baumholder can put any hope of early spring weather on ice.
Temperatures dropped below freezing early Thursday and between 2 and 8 inches of snow fell across the two U.S. military communities, which are wedged between the French border and the Rhine River.
The severe weather closed Defense Department schools in both Kaiserslautern and Baumholder on Thursday and postponed some base events, base officials said. Some day-care centers also closed.
Military commands gave servicemembers and civilian workers more time to get to work because of the slippery, snow-covered roads in the morning. The military classified roads around Ramstein Air Base and Baumholder as “red,” which means the roads are “very hazardous” and motorists should use extreme caution.
While the worst might have passed, the 21st Operational Weather Squadron at Sembach Annex forecasts more snow mixed in with some rain for Friday and early Saturday. The squadron extended a severe weather warning to 5 p.m. on Thursday, according to its Web site.
“It’s going to be lovely,” forecaster Airman 1st Class John Gleese said sarcastically.
Baumholder got the worst of the snow, registering between 7 and 8 inches in the morning. But Fred Wegley, deputy commander for U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder, shrugged off the nasty weather. He said the area historically receives a lot of snow because of its elevation, but mild winters have spoiled some residents.
“This is nothing special,” said Wegley, a civilian who has been at Baumholder since 1992.
Ramstein Air Base received a little more than 2 inches of snow Thursday. But Air Force spokeswoman Erin Zagursky said the wintry weather didn’t halt operations on the base’s bustling flight line.
If it didn’t affect mission requirements, supervisors could use “liberal leave policies” for parents who needed to care for children as a result of school closures in the Kaiserslautern military community, according to a military memo.
Stars and Stripes reporter Terry Boyd contributed to this story.