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SEOUL — U.S. Forces Korea officials raised flood condition warning levels Tuesday, telling community residents to brace for up to 10 inches of rain by Saturday.

The rain is to come courtesy of Typhoon Kaemi, which is steaming toward the eastern Chinese coast. South Korean officials said they’re especially concerned because the country still is reeling from flooding earlier this month, when Typhoon Ewiniar dumped more than 12 inches of rain in less than 48 hours.

According to Tuesday’s news release, residents in areas I, II and III can expect up to 10 inches of rain by Saturday. Area IV, on the southern portion of the peninsula, could see 4-6 inches of rain.

“USFK personnel and family members are encouraged to minimize travel, especially in low lying areas,” according to the release.

U.S. military bases weren’t spared from Ewiniar: Camp Casey suffered $1.6 million in damage when the rain-swollen Casey Creek overran an on-base dam. Workers responded by digging trenches along the culverts that drain water coming from the mountains behind the base and installed a temporary mesh wall that added about 3 to 5 feet to the dam.

Camp Casey workers also have opened up a two-way bypass around the dam and retaining wall to prepare for this week’s expected rain, an Area I spokesman said Tuesday. All pumping stations are operational and emergency response personnel are on standby, the spokesman added.

Area II officials in Seoul are preparing for the possible heavy rainfall, they stated in a news release.

Gerald Casey, Area II operations officer, said officials are notifying tenant units, installation coordinators, the provost marshal office and others to “ensure they review and enforce destructive weather plans.”

“It is important to practice proper safety techniques and report any damage to the Area II Directorate of Plan, Training, Mobilization and Security staff duty officer and staff duty noncommissioned officer,” he stated in the release.

Under the current flood condition, FLOODCON 1, commanders are tasked with conducting risk assessments, pre-positioning resources, planning recovery efforts and integrating response plans. Alert rosters must be updated and commanders must ensure troops are educated about possible dangers.

Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this report.

Flood conditions

FLOODCON 1:

¶ Commanders at all levels conduct risk assessments of training areas and installations.

¶ Commanders identify and pre-position resources, plan recovery efforts and integrate into response plans.

¶ Alert roster should be updated and validated.

¶ Commanders will ensure that servicemembers receive seasonal training on hazards and appropriate responses to monsoonal weather.

¶ Identify and order high-use supplies for the monsoon season.

¶ Identify sandbag staging areas for flood-prone areas.

¶ Inspect facilities and barracks for seasonal readiness.

FLOODCON 2:

¶ Activate the area operations centers (minimal staff).

¶ Identify and prepare vulnerable areas.

¶ Designate reaction teams and monitor sectors.

¶ Identify and notify units on training ranges.

¶ Order a cease movement for all nonessential travel.

¶ Put warnings on AFN radio and television.

FLOODCON 3:

¶ Activate the area operations centers (full staff).

¶ Evacuate flood- or landslide-threatened buildings.

¶ Provide forces for flood mitigation efforts.

¶ Position water in unit areas.

¶ Move family members to safe areas.

— T.D. Flack. Source: U.S. Forces Korea


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