North Carolina Department of Correction news release
State Prisoners Help Remove Snow
|FEBRUARY 3, 1998||Links to more stories about prison labor assisting WNC|
Western North Carolina -- As forecasters predict more snow for Western North Carolina, state prisoners continue to help the mountain communities that have suffered flooding and snow storms in recent weeks.
Catawba Correctional Center prisoner clears
|Prisoners supervised by a correctional officer from
Wilkes Correctional Center are working with community
volunteers in Avery County today. The prisoners have
shoveled snow, sorted donations and moved furniture at
the old Minneapolis Elementary School being used by Bo
Jones and other volunteers to pass donations to area
families hardest hit by Januarys flooding.
"The prisoners have been good workers. Theyve really made a difference," Jones said. "Weve received donations from churches and other groups from across the state. We had been trying to phase out efforts, but with the rough weather expected this week were stocking food again."
Over the weekend, correctional officers and prisoners continued to help mountain communities remove snow. Correctional officers supervised prison work squads who helped clear snow in Boone Saturday and spent Sunday clearing sidewalks and parking lots at Appalachian State University.
Officer James Geer of Catawba Correctional
|"They helped clear snow from around buildings
and sidewalks to make it safe to walk around campus and
give people access to buildings," said Lisa Shoun,
Watauga Countys emergency management coordinator.
Ten prisons supplied more than 150 prisoners to work in Avery, Madison and Watuaga counties Saturday. Buncombe, Catawba and Craggy correctional centers sent work crews to Madison and Watauga counties Sunday.
Crews from Blue Ridge Youth Center were among those helping Saturday. Correction and forestry officers led prisoner work crews that used chain saws to help clear roads still blocked by trees felled by last weeks snow.
"Initially, the crews cleared one lane to allow emergency traffic to pass, then they went back and cleared the whole road," said Keith Settles, a forestry officer who works with the young prisoners in the prisons conservation program. "There were places where the road was completely blocked by trees. There were quiet a few down."
More than 250 prisoners worked Friday and 75 Thursday as prison managers coordinated with Emergency Management to put work crews where they were most needed.
More stories about cleaning up after the snow storm and flooding
1998 Winter Storm Clean up -- Blue Ridge Youth Center photo scrapbook, 2/24/98
Prisoners clean up after snow storm in Western North Carolina, 1/30/98
Inmate labor to help Western North Carolina communities, 1/29/98
Cleaning up after flooding in Western North Carolina, 1/15/98
NC prisoners help clean up after flooding in Avery and Mitchell counties, 1/12/98