Eielson base housing floods during record rainfall
By Airman 1st Class Nora Anton, 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 13, 2008
EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Earlier this month residents at Eielson AFB experienced the wettest July on record causing more than 80 base homes in Moose Lake and French Creek to flood.
The rainfall, averaging 7.3 inches, was caused by thunderstorms in the local area and not only affected Eielson.
Flooding along the Salcha and Tanana Rivers caused areas in the town of Salcha to be evacuated according to the National Weather Service in Fairbanks.
The National Weather Service also reported this was the second highest rainfall in interior Alaska's history, second only to the 7.47 inches received in August 1967.
Some base homes were predisposed to the flooding by being built below the water table, causing some basements to flood with up to six inches of water resulting in residents having to remove all personal belongings in a hurry.
"The basement is my daughter's room, she was sleeping when the water alarm went off," said Capt. Tammy Colvin, 354th Comptroller Squadron deputy budget chief. "She had to call me when I was at work to help move all the furniture."
The water, which took a whole day to drain out of her basement, and another day to cut up the soaked carpet and remove, caused significant changes in the daily routines of herself and her neighbors.
"One way it has really disrupted my daily life is that I spent $50 on a week's worth of laundry in North Pole," said Captain Colvin.
Base residents can afford to take a sigh of relief as a committee of officials have put together solutions and resources to help flood victims on base.
One solution has been the decision to open one of the contingency dormitory laundry rooms for flood victim's use, according to officials.
A team of laborers from DGR management helped families remove damaged drywall and carpet, large furniture such as pianos out of basements, and pumping water from homes.