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Three Weeks Later, Still a Mess From Fran

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RALEIGH — It has now been three weeks since HurricaneFran blew through the Triangle and some neighborhoods arestillstruggling with downed trees, wrecked homes and piles of debris.

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

In fact, the Army Corps of Engineers just began work in that areaWednesday, using heavy equipment to start cleaning up debris. From there,they carry the debris to temporary landfills where the Corps overseesmassive burning yards. They advise, by the way, that peoplenotburn their own debris within city limits. In addition to the danger, it isagainst the law.

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

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

Clean-up contractor Cecil Patterson says even the most experiencedworkers found themselves intimidated by thetask.

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

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


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