North Carolina Department of Correction news release

State prisoners to clean up tires littering Bogue Sound

AUGUST 31, 1998

At the request of Gov. Jim Hunt, the Department of Correction is sending hundreds of inmates to the coast to help clean up tires that washed ashore during Hurricane Bonnie.

State officials deposited the tires offshore in the early 1980s to create artificial reefs for fish. However, as a result of the heavy surf stirred up by Hurricane Bonnie, thousands of tires are now littering the shores of Bogue Banks from Fort Macon to Emerald Isle.

Prison officials are in the process of moving 150 inmates from Dan River Prison Work Farm in Yanceyville to the coast today in preparation for the tire cleanup which will begin Tuesday morning at 5:30. With 15 squads of inmates assigned to the Governor’s Community Work Program, Dan River has the largest number of inmates available to help with the cleanup effort.

"It is a big problem, and they need this labor," said Dan Stieneke, director of the Divison of Prisons. "The tires are mired in sand, and some can only be removed at low tide. It will be a tough job."

Dan River Prison Superintendent Wayne Moore said he is sending 15 ten-man squads to the Atlantic Beach area to assist with the tire removal and to help clean up other debris left behind by Hurricane Bonnie. The work squads will be supervised by 15 correctional officers, two sergeants and one captain.

"We have an excellent reputation for working disaster relief," he said. "We have a very enthusiastic group of staff and inmates who are ready to go to work and help clean up this debris."

Earlier this year, more than 100 prisoners from Dan River helped clean up debris after a tornado severely damaged towns in Rockingham County.

Moore said the inmate work crews are prepared to work at hurricane cleanup for as long as a week.

During their stay at the coast, the inmates from Dan River will be housed at Carteret Correctional Center and Neuse Correctional Institution.

While the Dan River inmates are preparing for the tire removal, more than 700 inmates are continuing to work today to help counties clean up other debris left behind by Hurricane Bonnie and to help farmers shore up tobacco knocked down by the storm.

Prison managers have 40 inmate crews working in 12 counties along the coast that were hardest hit by the storm. A total of 39 inmate crews have been dispatched to tobacco fields in Johnston, Wilson, Wake, Harnett, Halifax, Robeson, Edgecombe and Cumberland counties.


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