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EF-1 tornado confirmed on Fort Stewart; donations being accepted

POSTED: February 4, 2016 5:32 p.m.
Photo by Caitlin Kenney/

Cars as seen damaged in the parking lot of Diamond Elementary school on Fort Stewart Thursday morning after an EF-1 tornado touched down on the installation Wednesday evening.

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By Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-1 tornado touched down Wednesday on Fort Stewart.

According a statement about the weather service’s preliminary survey, the tornado’s path was 5.5 miles long and 300 yards wide. Its wind speed was between 100 and 105 mph and resulted in no injuries. The statement says it will be updated with more information after the survey team completes its report.

Fort Stewart issued updated news release about the recovery operations from the tornado around 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

It says that 35 homes had some form of structural, water, or debris damage and displaced families have been given shelter in Fort Stewart lodging.

“Diamond Elementary School students will not return until Monday, Feb. 8.  Teachers, however, will be contacted by the school administration as to their return,” the release states.

Also, “approximately 150 privately owned vehicles were damaged in the storm.  Six operational facilities on post sustained major damage,” the release states.

Col. Townley Hedrick, garrison commander of Fort Stewart, spoke during a press conference Thursday afternoon about damage sustained to the post.

When asked about the cost of the damage, he stated he did not know about the family housing but for the military infrastructure, “I would say just looking at what was damaged in the motor pools, $5 million to $6 million as a rough estimate for structural damage not including the housing.”

According to the Fort Stewart press release, the Army Community Service Emergency Family Assistance Center will be open Friday starting at 7:30 a.m., “offering a one-stop shop that has subject matter experts from housing, legal, Army Emergency Relief, American Red Cross and Child and Youth Services.  Call (912) 767-1257 for assistance.”

The release says that plenty of material and in-kind donations have been received, but monetary donations should be “made to the Red Cross by calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or by visiting www.redcross.org.”

The American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgia said in a press release that in-kind donations are being handled by United Military Care.

"In-kind donations can be dropped off on post at the Army Hotel in the Main Lodge at 304 Coe Ave., at Ft. Stewart or off post at 400 North Main Street, Hinesville, GA 31313, located outside of gate #2," the release said. 

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