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Storms caused $2M in damage to U.K. bases

By GEOFF ZIEZULEWICZ | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 27, 2009

RAF MILDENHALL, England — A brief yet fierce thunderstorm earlier this month caused millions of dollars in damage to the Air Force’s two largest bases in England, base representatives said this week.

The June 15 storm caused $2 million worth of damage to 62 facilities at RAF Lakenheath, home of the 48th Fighter Wing, according to Staff Sgt. Nathan Gallahan, base spokesman.

The majority of the damage occurred at facilities where the roof and gutter systems couldn’t handle the large volume of water and hail, he said in an e-mail, with most damage consisting of flooded floors, waterlogged walls and ruined light fixtures.

Approximately 23 facilities took damage at Mildenhall, with repair estimates ranging between $15,000 and $20,000, according to Master Sgt. Charles Tubbs, base spokesman.

No injuries were reported at any of the Air Force bases in connection to the storm, which lasted about three hours and included a funnel cloud that formed over the Mildenhall runway.

Nearly an inch of rain fell in less than 30 minutes during the storm, base officials said.