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Lewis Elementary School hit hard by IE storms; soldiers pitch in to help

August 30, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Storms severely damaged a school at Fort Irwin forcing classes to be set up in barracks while the cleanup is underway. Soldiers are helping out.

At Lewis Elementary School, soldiers are mobilized. Their mission: Get all 651 students back in class by next Tuesday.

Sunday, thunderstorms moved across the Southern California desert, slamming Fort Irwin National Training Center. The elementary school was hit the hardest.

"A lot of our stuff will be unusable," said Lewis Principal Patti Baer.

With 90 percent of classrooms flooded, Baer needed an army.

"We got hundreds of soldiers who are sweating and putting their back into it and moving stuff," said Ft. Irwin Garrison Commander Colonel Jon Braga.

Each teacher was given an officer and soldiers. Their assignment: pack up the classrooms and move everything out.

Outside the elementary school you can see just how high the water came up, but the real damage was done inside.

"We had water up from anywhere from 12 to 18 inches in these rooms, and all of the new carpeting at Lewis was destroyed," said Silver Valley Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Marc Jackson.

It will take up to eight weeks to make repairs. The good news is that the base has figured out a way to keep the kids together.

While it may not look exactly like their old classrooms, the temporary barracks will definitely feel a little bit like it. From desks to books, these soldiers are making sure the kids are comfortable.

In the meantime, parents are also working to help teachers replace ruined supplies through donations, and the PTA is hoping to buy supplies.

Lewis Elementary School
PO Box 1005
Ft. Irwin CA
92310
Attention: PTA

Visit: Lewis Elementary School


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