Local News

Three Weeks Later, Still a Mess From Fran

Posted September 26, 1996

— It has now been three weeks since Hurricane Fran blew through the Triangle and some neighborhoods arestill struggling with downed trees, wrecked homes and piles of debris.

The area around Eton Road in Raleigh was particularly hard-hit, and while many have their lives back to normal, residents there are still grappling with the mess.

In fact, the Army Corps of Engineers just began work in that area Wednesday, using heavy equipment to start cleaning up debris. From there, they carry the debris to temporary landfills where the Corps oversees massive burning yards. They advise, by the way, that peoplenot burn their own debris within city limits. In addition to the danger, it is against the law.

The work requires that flagmen keep traffic at bay since there isn't enough room for cars to pass between the trucks and trees.

The process requires that huge remnants of trees be placed within reach of the trucks, which means making roads impassable. It's all the result of damage and devastation that appeared to present an impossible task at first.

Clean-up contractor Cecil Patterson says even the most experienced workers found themselves intimidated by the task.

Even after the crews are gone, there will be months of work to do replacing landscaping and repairing homes.

While impassable roads might seem like a great inconvenience, residents say the trucks and workers are a welcome sight after weeks of looking at their residential war zone. One area resident said he just got his electric service back Monday, and his phone service was restored Sunday.

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