Heavy rain causes flooding

by Dijon Rolle
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern Public Affairs

Strong winds, thunder, lightning and heavy rains blanketed parts of the KMC June 20. The storm caused flooding at the 405th Directorate of Logistics building on Daenner Kaserne and several facilities on Sembach Kaserne, including the middle school, U.S. Army Europe Vehicle Registration office and troop billeting.

A total of 17 first responders from U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern’s Directorate of Emergency Services were dispatched late Thursday evening to assist community members around the KMC.

“It was a very significant storm. I’ve been through quite a few hurricanes down in the Florida area, and I would say that some of the gusts of winds that we were experiencing were similar to hurricane force winds,” said Lt. Col George Brown, director of emergency services at USAGK. “The ability for us to be able to immediately respond to anyone who has any needs is exactly what we are here for.”

Brown added that he was surprised there was not a lot more damage. He also said police and remaining fire services were given the order to shelter-in-place to reduce the chance of any unnecessary injuries to emergency support staff. The storm also caused major flooding to the East Fire Station. Firefighters assigned to the department were aided by Sembach crewmembers as they worked to save their own facility from rising flood waters.

Army officials did not report any injuries or additional storm-related damages in the KMC. In Heidelberg, fire officials from U.S. Army Garrison Baden-Württemberg worked to clear roadways and answer calls from community members on Patrick Henry Village and Mark Twain Village.

Downed trees and sections of large tree branches caused damage to perimeter fences at the Heidelberg golf course and blocked the exit out of Mark Twain Village. Heidelberg fire department members removed a large tree branch hanging over a perimeter fence on Nachrichten Kaserne close to a local roadway.

On Patrick Henry Village, flying shingles from roofs damaged a vehicle and a tree crushed another. The driver escaped unharmed and large tree branches were scattered across the housing area.

Firefighters and officials from USAG Baden-Württemberg’s Department of Public Works and Transformation team helped to clear remaining debris from roadways and military installations June 21. No injuries were reported.