Storm damage repairs mostly done

By: By Natalie Davis - The Anson Record

Anson County is still cleaning up after Hurricane Florence three weeks later.

“We came through very well, compared to our friends down east,” said Hugh James, Wadesboro public utilities director at the Oct. 1 town meeting.

Florence made landfall at a Category 1 hurricane Sept. 14 about 7:15 a.m. near Wrightsville Beach. It remained almost stationary between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach for about three days before being downgraded and coming toward Anson County, spinning northward and heading along the East Coast back out to sea.

Although several trees and power lines fell and became entangled, public utilities, Wadesboro Fire Department, and power companies have worked together to fix the issues.

“We had several road blocks, and the power companies came and removed the wire from the trees,” James said.

James said they also had to repair guard rails at East Wade Bridge, banks and sewer lines.

He added that they had a couple of overflows, but nothing really bad sewer-wise.

There were more than 50 damaged roads. As of Oct. 1, only 10 roads still needed repair.

Scott Martin, Wadesboro fire chief, also spoke of Hurricane Florence affects at the Monday meeting, specifically the CSX train derailment in Lilesville.

“We responded with those guys, and helped them with whatever they wanted us to,” Martin said.

They brought in engines, personnel and established a command post. The first command post was washed out with around eight inches of water in a matter of 10 minutes.

“Luckily there were no chemicals that were hazardous to people or the environment on the train, but it was flammable,” he said. “It still poses a big threat, but nothing compared to other chemicals that comes through those tracks.”

Michael Freeman, Anson County Schools superintendent, released a statement through Facebook about the cleanup prior to reopening Sept. 24 on a one-hour delay.

Due to road closures, the state Department of Transportation advised that no school buses run.

School staff helped cleaned each facility from “wind-related water leaks causing a number of saturated ceiling tiles to fall in classrooms and hallways,” the Facebook post said.

Facilities loss power at various times, and in some cases, such as Ansonville Elementary, food had to be disposed. The staff inspected food at every facility, and new food was delivered the following week.

“My staff and I are very appreciative to everyone who has reached out to provide support duting and after the storm,” Freeman said.

Some staff and students of ACS lost a loved one during Hurricane Florence, and Freeman said that his heart in with those members of ACS.

“As we enter the fall season, ACS and the Anson community has so many blessings associated with this storm; yet some families are facing heart-breaking issues-we must stand tall and support each other,” Freeman added in his post. “Please join me as I pray for all of the people who are suffering lost in tremendous ways.”

By Natalie Davis

The Anson Record