SEPTEMBER 11, 1996

BUNN -- Life has yet to return to normal at Franklin Correctional Center since Hurricane Fran knocked out the medium security prison's water supply.

Early Sunday morning, the prison lost water pressure, a problem for a prison with 477 inmates.

"We can't let the inmates shower, but we've got adequate drinking water and water for cooking," said Franklin prison superintendent Marvin Polk. "We're doing what we can and I think the inmates see that and understand it."

The prison has been able to get two 550-gallon water tanks and a nearby fire station has helped supply emergency water. Other prisons have also provided Franklin with bread and ice.

Of the prisons that lost electric service during the hurricane, Franklin was the last to have power restored. The prison lost power during the hurricane and it was not restored until Monday night. During the outage, back-up generators met emergency needs.

"Our employees still face difficult conditions," Polk said. "Many still have power outages at home and all face the same shortage of water."

The day after Fran passed through Smithfield, Johnston Correctional Center inmate work squads were out clearing roads and inmate kitchen workers were baking bread and preparing bag lunches.

"We supplied more than 600 meals to shelters set up at Smithfield-Selma and South Johnston high schools," said Johnston prison superintendent Loomis Woodard. "We also sent 1,300 rolls to Franklin Correctional Center two days in a row." "We wouldn't have been able to provide food to the shelters or bread to Franklin had it not been for correction warehouse manager Donnie Matthews," said Woodard. "The prison was to receive kitchen supplies the day after Fran hit. I called Donnie at home and found him moving family members from a house damaged by the hurricane. Shortly afterwards he was at the prison with the supplies we needed despite the difficult driving conditions and hurricane damage."