North Carolina Department of Correction news release
SEPTEMBER 2, 1998
Prisoners clear tires from beaches, help clean up communities and assist farmers
RALEIGH Its been a week since Hurricane Bonnie first made landfall along North Carolinas coast, yet hundreds of inmates with the Department of Correction are still hard at work today, cleaning up the debris left behind in her wake.
From picking up tires along the beaches of Bogue Sound to straightening tobacco plants knocked over by Bonnies winds further inland, more than 900 minimum-security inmates are continuing their efforts to help communities and tobacco farmers recover from the storm.
Prison managers sent out a total of 97 inmate work crews today, with 35 crews assigned to tobacco fields in Johnston, Wilson, Harnett, Halifax, Robeson, Cumberland and Jones counties and 62 crews assigned to debris and tire removal in communities along the coast.
Robert Barnhill, a sergeant at New Hanover Correctional Center, said most of the work along the coast involves picking up limbs, shingles, siding and other blown debris.
"The crews we have at Calabash, Yaupon Beach, Ocean Isle, Sunset Beach, Long Beach and Boiling Springs Lake are all loading up trucks with tree limbs and brush to be taken to a regional dump site," he said.
Other crews in Carolina Beach are helping to remove sand from roadways while crews in Kure Beach are busy putting up sand fencing to serve as an erosion control device.
Barnhill said several other work crews are focusing their efforts on getting the areas parks in shape for the Labor Day weekend.
"We have one crew from Duplin Correctional Center at Carolina Beach State Park today picking up downed limbs and clearing the camping areas and trails of debris," he said.
While the crews work on preparing the parks for Labor Day, 100 inmates are continuing their efforts to rid the beaches of thousands of tires that washed ashore during the storm before the last big weekend of the summer tourist season arrives.
Inmate crews working the beaches from Pine Knoll Shores to Emerald Isle removed more than 2,000 tires Tuesday, however, more tires washed up overnight along Emerald Isle.
"We have crews removing tires in Emerald Isle and all up and down the coast," said Duncan Daughtry, superintendent of Carteret Correctional Center. "Work is going much faster today, because we have more trucks. Our inmates are out there hustling to get these tires up as quickly as possible."
The 62 inmate crews along the coast are working in Pender, Brunswick, Onslow, Carteret, Pamlico, Perquimans, Currituck, Pasquotank, Camden, Hyde, Beaufort, Dare, Tyrrell, New Hanover and Bladen counties today.
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