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Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2004 1:04 PM
Subject: [Big Storm Hits MCM]
Subject: McMurdo Weekly Summary for W/E 16 May 2004
McMurdo Station was hit by a series of powerful winter storms late in the
week, with the most powerful system bringing sustained hurricane force winds
to the McMurdo area for several hours on Sunday. Peak wind of 147 knots was
recorded at Black Island Sunday, maximum wind speed at McMurdo is a little
more difficult to pinpoint as we lost the wind instrument during the storm.
The highest wind measured before losing the McMurdo instrument was 82 knots,
though I'm pretty certain we exceeded that after the wind bird blew away.
At this writing we are between storms and our efforts are focused on
repairing downed lines and repairing the damage that has exposed the
interiors of some buildings to the elements, and getting things secured in
preparation for the next storm due to hit us Tuesday.
Yesterday's official weather summary:
YESTERDAY'S EXTREMES (5/16/04)
Maximum Temperature: -10°C / +14°F
Minimum Temperature: -23°C / -09°F
Peak Wind (knots): 82
Lowest Wind Chill: -54°C / -65°F
This was a significant storm damage-wise. At this writing we haven't
been able to fully assess damages from this storm, though the preliminary
list on my desk includes 17 significant entries. Preliminary noted damage
We lost the bay doors on both ends of Building 140 and one bay
door at Building 143, the Vehicle Maintenance Facility. Carpenters are working now to frame in those holes. Portions of the siding was ripped from buildings including dormitories 211 and 203A, and some building windows broke (B211, B159 and B155). We lost all the windows on one side of an "airporter" shuttle bus, and nine windows from seven light trucks and vans. The shuttle bus stop in front of the dormitories (Derelict Junction) was moved by the wind and came to rest against a pickup truck parked nearby. A portion of the roof of Building 155 was peeled up over the boiler room area. Several overhead lines were downed. The pad liners for the Coast Guard helicopters were swept up by the wind from the helicopter pad and are now wrapped around portions of the Chalet. One of the flag poles on the Chalet deck was bent to a 45 degree list. A portion of the roof and a bay door were torn from Building 126. The roll-up door and roof were completely ripped from storage building J1. Television service is out (and I missed the Laker game). This is just a preliminary list of items and we will continue to quantify and assess the damage in the coming hours and days. Right now we are addressing the immediately vulnerable and dangerous items and bracing for the next storm. Scott Base similarly sustained some storm damage, losing a roll-up door, a peeled-up roof filling a building with snow, some broken windows, and some shipping containers flipped about. All hands at both stations are fine and healthy.
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