Local News

Southern Pines Declares State Of Emergency

Posted September 30, 2004

— Moore County residents are getting a better idea of what the cleanup from the remnants of Jeanne is going to involve.

Southern Pines declared a state of emergency at a special meeting Wednesday, making the town eligible for state and federal assistance.

On Monday, a storm system spawned tornadoes that caused severe damage to homes and land in the area. Southern Pines Mayor Frank Quis said there are so many trees that were knocked down that the debris could cover an entire football field 20 times.

At the Mid South Club, there are new types of obstacles on the golf course. Sand traps are now debris traps.

"It's truly amazing to see groups of 300, 400 trees gone in one area and a couple yards away, everything is peaceful and untouched," said John McDougald, general manager of Mid South Club.

Chainsaws were a sign of progress as volunteers remove debris. Homeowner Bob Verval said his stress is being hauled away.

"I feel better today than I did yesterday," he said.

Even state inmates are pitching in for the cleanup effort.

"This is part of me paying my debt back to society," inmate Shawn Ellis said.

The town is putting together a program to help the uninsured get their homes fixed. Initial estimates by town officials suggest it could cost up to $500,000 to remove the fallen trees.

The mayor estimates it could be up to a month before things are normal again.

Damage assessment teams with the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be in town Thursday.

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