Monsoon rains flood K-16 Air Base in Korea
July 16, 2009
SEOUL — Estimators expected to begin assessing flood damage at K-16 Air Base on Wednesday after two days of heavy rain flooded half a dozen buildings with as much as three feet of water.
Ten inches of rain fell Sunday at K-16 by some estimates, flooding two barracks, an administrative facility, a hangar and three other office buildings, said Chuck Markham, Area II director of the Department of Public Works. Eleven soldiers were moved out of their barracks due to flooding, and three non-tactical vehicles also were damaged.
The water receded on Monday, but the base flooded again on Tuesday due to more heavy rain. The rain also flooded a South Korean air base adjacent to K-16, Markham said.
"They said that was the most water they’ve had there in that amount of time in the last 16 years," he said.
South Korea is in the midst of its monsoon season, when the country receives more than half its annual rainfall. The heavy and often sudden rains can cause flash flooding and mudslides.
Nearly 9 inches of rain fell Sunday in Sungnam, where K-16 is located, according to the Korean Meteorological Association. Another 6.3 inches had fallen there by 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday.
Central Seoul had 4.5 inches of rain on Sunday and 3.7 inches by Tuesday evening. KMA spokesman Lee Young-ung said the heavy rains and strong winds were expected to end around midnight Tuesday, with more heavy rainfalls coming on the weekend and on July 22.
Stars and Stripes reporter Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this story.