Storm of the Century

Trip Start Feb 24, 2006
Trip End Dec 31, 2007

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Flag of Korea Rep.  ,
Monday, October 23, 2006

On October 23rd, the east coast of Gangwon-do was hit with a freak storm. The source of the storm remains a mystery as there were no typhoons nor indication of such a strong weather event. There were record winds (some as fast as 63 m/second - 150 mph), the waves rose to a height of 5.5 meters (18 feet), and there was 232 mm (~12 inches) of rain in just a few hours! The strong winds combined with the unrelenting rain causing massive damage and flooding to many homes and businesses in the Sokcho and Yangyang areas.

My school was not lucky enough to avoid the storm damage as the winds pushed the waves over the beach and into the schools playground. With nowhere to go, the water attacked the school building, flooding the basement. This resulted in much damage to the cafeteria, the sewage system, and GELC's power and electricity control room. The flooding caused over 200,000,000 won (over $200,000) worth of damage and left the school without power or running water for one week.

With no electricity available for office work, we first decided that we should get free vacation time! But reality struck and we decided the best thing to do would be to work hard and help recover the school so it could re-open as soon as possible. This meant long days spent cleaning up, draining water, shoveling sand, and general physical labor, which was quite a change from the normal GELC classroom activities! Personally, I enjoyed the outdoor work except for the fact that it pulled me from studying for my grad school test!
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