Kennedy Space Center has been hit by Hurricane Matthew, which caused damage of millions of dollars, but as the officials confessed, it could have been worse. According to Bob Cabana, KSC Director, besides the water intrusion, the roof damage was significant as well.
The Power of Hurricane Matthew
KSC was shut down last Wednesday when the weather forecast announced a Category 4 dangerous storm. The winds were as strong as 80 mph on Friday, while a tower of 500 feet recorded that the wind blew with 136 mph.
Fortunately, the Matthew was just a Category 3 hurricane and the eye remained at around 25 miles off shore. That is why Brevard County was hit just by the storm and not by the full power of the hurricane.
Kennedy Space Center lost air conditioning in the Launch Complex 39 due to roof damage. The KSC’s Damage Assessment and Recovery Team have doubled their efforts to make portable chillers functional as it was essential to dry out every wet building so that employees can come back to work.
Because of the roof damage, water intrusion affected the Operations Support Building II, a construction built ten years ago. Employees have to work together and share their work stations with each other until the building is repaired.
Currently, 20 percent of the Operations Support Building II is damaged, but officials announced that it would become functional soon.
Also, the KSC’s Beach House has lost a large part of its roof and needs to be repaired after water intrusion its other walls as well. Other facilities such as the 525-foot building designed for vehicle assembly remained almost intact.
More than a decade ago, when Hurricane Jeanne and Frances hit KSC, the Vehicle Assembly Building was severely affected, especially its exterior walls and large panels, as the damage was of over $125 million.
Engineers and architects came up with a different approach and used stainless steel nuts and washers to hold the panels because the previous fasteners corroded very easily.
The rest of the most important major facilities such as the launch pad 39B are well. KSC officials confessed that they were relieved after the Hurricane Matthew passed and the Center was not damaged as bad as back in 2004.
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