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Fort Irwin hits snags in flood recovery

Sep. 3, 2013 - 04:26PM   |  

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Recovery efforts at Fort Irwin, Calif., have been dealt two setbacks in recent days, a post-wide 27-hour power outage and the failure of plans to relocate 651 students from a flooded elementary school to some spare barracks.

The home of the National Training Center, damaged by an hour-long monsoon and flash flood Aug. 25, is expected to return to normal in several weeks. Students of Lewis Elementary School are expected to return to classes on Sept. 9.

However, the local school district nixed a temporary location for the school, derailing plans to start classes this week , according to post spokesperson Pamela Portland. Instead, the district is planning to accommodate the children in temporary classrooms on base.

More than 100 soldiers, teachers and parents cleaned and moved desks, chairs and school items to a set of barracks, Portland said. Post officials then learned state law requires a study to determine the site’s earthquake readiness before the district can consider it.

At a recent Fort Irwin town hall, Post Command Sgt. Maj. Lance P. Lehr thanked the audience for their hard work and dedication.

“From the bottom of my heart, from the board of education, from my staff, I just want to thank you for your support and what you have done for us this week,” he said.

Lewis Elementary is expected to be fully repaired in eight weeks.

A power outage reportedly hit the post at 3 p.m. Thursday, the third in recent months. Power was knocked out on July 22 and again on Aug. 18, when storms downed power lines to the isolated post.

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