• Heavy rain brings flooding to post

  • More than six inches of rain fell in two hours July 6, causing massive flood damage and power outages around post. Garrison crews have worked around the clock since the storm to cleanup and assess repairs.

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  • More than six inches of rain fell in two hours July 6, causing massive flood damage and power outages around post. Garrison crews have worked around the clock since the storm to cleanup and assess repairs.
    The storm developed on post around 4:30 p.m. and ended at roughly 5:30 p.m. Total dollar figures for damage is still being assessed, but $50,000 was requested for cleanup of the three locations — DePuy Auditorium in Eisenhower Hall, the Trolley Station and the Provost Marshal Office building. Workers from Servpro, the cleanup company the Garrison utilizes in emergency situations, have been in and out of the buildings on post taking immediate action on water damage.
    Garrison Commander Col. Andrew Shoffner was briefed on the damage and plan of action so far by Jerry Clark, chief of operations for the Directorate of Public Works, and Mike Wolf, chief of the Engineering Division at DPW, July 7.
    “I’ve been impressed with the responsiveness of our teams here at Fort Leavenworth, both with DPW and housing as well as the community, to pull together in a time of need,” Shoffner said.
    During the storm, Merritt Lake overflowed across Grant Avenue, causing the ground transformers to blow and created a power outage between Kansas Avenue and Pope Avenue. The power outage was first reported at 5 p.m. DPW crews were already onsite by 5:30 p.m., restored power in sections starting at 6 p.m. and completely restored power by 7:30 p.m.
    The amount of water from the storm came so fast that it collapsed one of Smith Lake’s culverts and all the dirt around the pipe washed out causing the pipe to section off. Two vehicle water rescues occurred on Grant Avenue despite the street being closed to drivers where the flooding occurred.
    The Commissary had approximately 30 customers when the power outage occurred at roughly 4:30 p.m. Store Director Glennie Morris-Klubek said customers were moved to the front of the store to checkout. Registers still worked on backup generators. Morris-Klubeck said no groceries were affected between the time power went out and returned three hours later.
    The Post Exchange experienced a great deal of flooding. The exits on the north side of the building could not keep the water back and the stockroom, administrative offices, Armed Forces Bank and clothing departments flooded in addition to the computer room. Servpro worked on the store July 7 and July 8. The PX opened late July 7, but the registers are up and the main store is open for regular business hours. The clothing, jewelry, cosmetics and shoe sections are closed until further notice. The bank is temporarily operating in the appliance section. Paula Manning-Roybal, Fort Leavenworth Army and Air Force Exchange Service general manager, said in an e-mail to the Public Affairs Office that the plan is to rip out the carpets in the administrative areas, bank and half of the clothing department including the shoes, mens, boys and girls sections. Servpro will then use dehumidifiers and air purifiers and cut out wet drywall.
    Page 2 of 3 - Flood damage affected the Trolley Station on Grant Avenue, which has been hit before. Clark said there’s a pit in the building with a series of drainpipes that run into it from various areas. Pipes drain into the pit and a big pipe takes the water and sediment away. When the pipe gets too full, it floods. Clark said DPW will continue to work on finding a solution. The basement of the building is empty except for the Fort Leavenworth Thrift Shop, which received up to foot of water and mud. Mary Kendall, manager of the Thrift Shop, said this was the third time in the last three months the shop flooded. She was working when the storm hit and tried to suction the water up until it overpowered the sand bags she was using and got so deep, she felt it was too dangerous. She was still assessing the damage and had volunteers helping clean up July 7. She opened for business July 8.
    “I have such good volunteers. They are in here mopping,” Kendall said. “We’ll try to open tomorrow. It just depends on how safe it is sanitary wise. I had just bleached the floors yesterday before it hit.”
    Most of Depuy Auditorium in Eisenhower Hall, which was remodeled with all new storm drains and pumps this spring to help prevent flooding, was submerged July 6 after the storm hit. Six feet of water caused the doors to the auditorium to cave in. Flooding in the nearby maintenance room caused the server to be down in Eisenhower Hall July 7.
    “We put in a lot of measures after the last flood,” Clark said. “This is a whole new drain area. We put massive pumps in there, put emergency power but nothing’s designed to handle six inches of rain in two hours.”
    July 7, the water was already extracted from the auditorium by Servpro. Crews were working on the next course of action for the auditorium’s cleanup.
    “This is a major meeting area so we’ve got to clean it up, build it back together,” Clark said. “It’s going to take months.”
    Emergency dispatchers in the Fort Leavenworth Emergency Services Communication Center were relocated July 6 after the center received two to three inches of water. Calls were rerouted to the dispatchers’ temporary location in the internal training room of the Provost Marshal Office building. Dehumidifiers and fans are drying the room.
    “It’ll probably take a good two to three days to get the humidity down in here,” Clark said. “We’re going to start removing some sheetrock to get the air behind the wall.”
    DPW notified the Union Pacific railroad on the morning of July 7 of storm damage to the north railroad crossing at Sherman Army Airfield. The water eroded away the ground on the backside of the track exposing the railroad ties. Union Pacific crews were out that morning to assess damage and make repairs. The track was closed until repairs were made. Union Pacific covers any damage and repair to the track.
    Page 3 of 3 - Munson Army Health Center had a pipe in the storm drain system fail in its main building and water came into the facility causing massive amounts of water to dump into the newly opened Java Cafe and the hallway outside the cafe. The cafe was closed for cleanup July 7 and opened July 8 for regular hours. There was also damage in other areas, including some offices, Radiology, the basement and main stairwell and up to one inch of water in the basement mechanical room. The second and third floors received minimal damage. The water shorted the fire alarm system July 6 causing it to activate. The system is fixed. Medical Activity soldiers were called in to help maintenance crews with much of the cleanup. Dehumidifiers and fans were put up in areas that flooded.
    “We did a lot of cleanup last night,” said Tisha Entwistle, public affairs officer for Munson Army Health Center, in an e-mail July 7. “Most of our soldiers were out on the training holiday but many of them were recalled and came in to help the housekeeping and facilities staff with the cleanup. Right now the cleanup has been mostly completed and we are in the drying-out process, hoping to replace the ceiling tiles by the end of the day today or early tomorrow.”
    Water came through the door of Smith Dental Clinic at 520 Pope Ave., something that has happened before. The clinic was closed July 7 to check equipment and clean up and then reopened July 8. The newly remodeled Veterinary Treatment Facility did take in some water that was attributed to the driving rain. Damage was minimal and the clinic is open for regular hours.
    Many post residents were affected by the storm with flood damage. The Fort Leavenworth Frontier Heritage Communities’ Maintenance Department is assessing damage.
    “As a result of Monday’s storm, FLFHC is currently working its way through each village and assessing damage,” said Lisa Smith, FLFHC marketing coordinator. “All homes that have been affected by the storm are being addressed. Residents that have questions or need to report damage are advised to contact our Maintenance Department at (913) 651-3838. For personal property damage, residents are encouraged to contact their renter’s insurance carrier.”
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