The Duncan Banner
When an ice storm in 2010 knocked out electricity for many people in Stephens County, the county opened the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center to house people until their electricity could be restored.
During that time, more than 200 people took shelter at the fairgrounds, cramming into the Conference Center’s rooms. The Conference Center is one of the many buildings available on the Fair & Expo Center grounds. To provide more space if needed, the Board of Stephens County Commissioners purchased a generator to allow electricity to be supplied to the new arena, in case of a similar situation.
The 500KW generator has been installed and is ready to use if the need arises.
“If we had had this generator, we could have use the building,” Gary Ball, Stephens County Emergency Management director, said. “If people lose their homes to a tornado or their electricity to another ice storm, they can come here.”
The arena has shower facilities, while the Expo Center has a kitchen area. If an emergency arises, both of these buildings can be used because of the generators at the fairgrounds.
Additionally, if power goes out during an event, which has happened, power can be restored to the arena because of the generator.
“Even if they’re having an event in the arena and they lose power, they’ll have power,” Ball said.
Darrell Sparks, District 1 commissioner, said both building generators will be used if an emergency arises to ensure people have a place to go. This will provide more room than was available during the 2010 ice storms.
The new generator was installed Wednesday, and Sparks said it works well.
“I don’t think you can have enough generators to prepare,” he said.
The county worked with the City of Duncan to install the new generator. Ball said he was appreciative of the concrete work performed by the city. He said that work helped get the generator in place.
“All we lack is a little bit of a fence and that’s it,” Ball said.