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Posted: June 14, 2018 4:13 p.m.
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Stewart power outage planned

Power outages could result from severe weather, stress on the power grid, or for any number of reasons.  But on Friday, Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield will intentionally exercise the installation’s crisis management system based on a planned power outage for parts of Fort Stewart.

The Garrison Commander, Col. Jason Wolter, held a Facebook town hall June 1 regarding the planned power outage to help answer questions and mitigate confusion.  He said the exercise was important considering the region just entered Hurricane season, noting it was best to be prepared.  

The National Weather Service’s website at www.weather.gov, said hurricanes are among nature’s most powerful destructive phenomena, averaging 12 tropical storms each ‘Hurricane Season’, which runs June 1 through November 30. 

Fort Stewart wants to be prepared.

 “This exercise will validate the backup power generation on critical functions throughout the post,” said Will Ingram, chief of Operations and Maintenance Division at the garrison’s Directorate of Public Works.  “It is vital that the installation test its backup systems in a controlled environment, rather than trying to identify possible issues during an actual emergency.”

Wolter said the question was not whether the area would be affected by severe weather; but rather when.  The commander said previous severe weather and hurricanes have impacted the installation’s power grid – and the community has built-in procedures to help mitigate the threat.  But the systems need to be tested.   

The outage will last four hours from 6-10 a.m. and will be limited to certain zones within the Fort Stewart cantonment area.  Hunter Army Airfield and the Fort Stewart Housing and the mission training center will not be affected. All the gates will operate normally. No disruption of 911 services are expected during the series.  Traffic signals will be affected by the power outage.  The Directorate of Emergency Services will increase patrols and have additional police officers available for traffic control during the exercise. Additionally, the installation will closely monitor the situation to during the exercise. The 911 Call Center and all emergency services will be operational during the exercise. DPW’s service order desk, 767-2883, will also be operational during the exercise. However, customers are asked to limit calls in order to reduce call volumes. 

Winn Army Community Hospital will remain opened during the power outage.  However, Hawks Medical Clinic, the North Side Medical Clinic, Mower and the prescription refill center at the Furniture Mall on Vilseck Road will be closed during the exercise.  During this time, prescription refills will be handled at Winn Army Community Hospital. Sick call will also be conducted at Winn ACH’s Family Practice Clinic.  

To reduce the impact on the community, all Directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities, including fitness centers; the commissary and AAFE's stores – except the Marne Express Shoppette and Bryan Village express will delay opening until 10:30 a.m.  A consolidated child care service will be made available in building 5000; however, buildings 475 and 403 will be without power during the exercise.  

Fort Stewart leadership will maintain communications throughout the exercise on the garrison Facebook site at www.facebook.com/ForStewartHunterArmyAirfield, where community members can share questions, concerns or issues regarding the event.    The command asks that all customers remain patient as it works to improve disaster response and emergency services. 



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