NEWS | Dec. 4, 2018

Soldiers Repair Flood Damage Across Kuwait

By Spc. Adam Parent U.S. Army Central

The month of November saw unusually high amounts of rainfall across Kuwait, leading to severe flooding across U.S. Military installations. Throughout November U.S. Army Soldiers participated in immediate flood relief efforts like stacking sandbags, digging small trenches and sweeping water from flooded barracks.

By the end of the month Soldiers at Kuwait Naval Base, Camp Buehring and Camp Arifjan had a variety of flood damage problems to overcome, and new projects such as repairing water damage and improving infrastructure to prevent future flooding.

At Kuwait Naval Base, Soldiers from the 150th Brigade Engineer Battalion, Mississippi Army National Guard, are repairing damage to the beach caused by the flooding. A hazardous five foot wide and five foot deep ravine was created in the beach sand when rainwater runoff was guided toward the ocean.

“I've been in the construction industry for over 28 years and I've been to several different installations, and the DPW at ASG-Kuwait's response to the flood situation that we had here was fantastic,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Vernon Burge, a construction engineering technician with the 150th BEB.

The 150th BEB filled in the ravine with rocks and sand, restoring the beach to safe conditions for American and Kuwaiti forces to utilize for training.

At Camp Buehring underground communication lines were submerged in water, creating a potential for communication capabilities to be affected at the installation.

U.S. Army Pfc. Donnesha Streetman, a multi-systems transmission operator and maintainer with U.S. Army Network Enterprise Center-Kuwait, is on a team of Soldiers who pump water and clean mud out of communication line access points. She said it is important to keep cables clean and dry so Soldiers can maintain their ability to communicate effectively at any time.

The team of Soldiers from USANEC-K worked continuously through the storms and after to assess and repair water damage to the communication lines.

At Camp Arifjan flooding caused by the heavy rainfall had an especially damaging effect on a barracks area which houses hundreds of Soldiers.

“It was a Sunday evening and we had some heavy rains, and a lot of the residents in the 1400 block were coming out with their E-tools trying to resolve the problem,” said U.S. Army Capt. Bryan Thompson, the commander of the 526th Engineer Construction Company. “I brought in my platoon leaders and said 'Hey we need to get after this.' And without question, without hesitation the guys sprung into action.”

After the flooding had subsided Soldiers from the 526th ECC began a new project to improve runoff water drainage near the barracks. A ditch and culvert that had failed to adequately drain water is being improved with a better trapezoidal design, and the ground in the area is being gently sloped to allow water to flow more easily towards the improved ditch.

Each military installation faces different problems created by the weather and terrain, and U.S. Army Soldiers at each installation are able to overcome those unique challenges and improve the infrastructure so extreme weather events will be less damaging in the future.