LAWTON (KFDX/KJTL) — The recent winter storm affected every walk of life throughout Texoma.
Military installations like Sheppard Air Force Base and Fort Sill halted all training because of the storm.
At the fort, 76 families had to leave their homes because of busted water pipes but more than half of them have already returned home.
“Our housing partner, Corvias, has done an amazing job with getting water and power returned to homes almost instantaneously. And for those families that are still displaced, they’ve been accommodated with our local hotels here,” Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Russell Blackwell said.
While families were helped quickly and soldiers in barracks weren’t interrupted much, the fort’s School Age Center, where children are cared for before and after school, had a pipe burst.
“We had a swimming pool pretty much here. About two inches to three inches of water depending on where you’re at in the building,” School Age Center facility director Traci Carter said.
After the department of public works helped clear the water, the center’s staff got to work and the center welcomed kids back on February 23.
“We worked as a team and it was all hands on deck yesterday,” Carter said. “This building went from looking like a disaster site to what you see now even the floors being buffed and polished. It was a team effort. I’m very proud of the staff.”
Blackwell said the fort responded well to the storm and the department of public works did a great job of assessing damage and clearing roads. He credits the frozen weather in October for getting everyone prepared.
“We learned a lot of lessons from that. So that when the deep freeze hit this time, we were far better prepared I think than what we would’ve been had we not gone through that in October.”
People on Fort Sill coming together and showing that proper preparation breeds proper performance.
Blackwell also said contractors are beginning work on private homes; that could take around 60 to 90 days, but overall, officials don’t think families will be displaced for that long.