Friday, December 9, 2022

114 West Elm Street
Graham, NC 27253
Ph: 336.228.7851

Let the cleanup begin

Editor’s note: Special complimentary access to this article and adjacent one about Hurricane Hazel’s impact in 1954.  To subscribe, for unlimited online access, see special offer at end.


As Saturday morning arrived – and the heaviest rains and wind from Hurricane Ian had already passed through the area – Alamance County residents were left with a similar duty to those in Florida and South Carolina, although perhaps on a smaller scale.

Traffic lights were out along portions of South Church Street, trees and significant parts thereof were down in several areas including Tarleton Avenue (shown in accompanying photos), and about 8,000 families remained without power, according to Duke Energy.

[Story continues below photos.]

Traffic was blocked along South Church Street near City Park as workmen made repairs.
Stop lights were out along a stretch of South Church Street, as well as on side streets (shown above is Gurney Street). And portions of other streets (Tarleton Avenue below) were blocked off.
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Sandy King and her brother Thomas Turner were busy at 511 Tarleton Avenue cleaning up a tree limb that had fallen during the storm at the home of their 100-year-old mother.

Thomas joked that the centenarian hadn’t volunteered to assist with the cleanup.

[Story continues below photos of 511 Tarleton Avenue cleanup by Sandy King and her brother Thomas Turner.]


Thomas Turner (above) and his sister, Sandy King (below) were on hand Saturday morning to help clean up a downed tree limb at their 100-year-old mother’s house.


Meanwhile, down the street a few blocks, Grant Brooks had a small army of friends, family, neighbors, and members of a Christian fitness group who were busy helping him clean up at 806 Tarleton Avenue.

A large oak tree fell Friday evening around 6:15, when Grant was taking the dog outside for its break.  He was only about 100 feet away, in his side yard, when he heard the first crack and the top of an old oak tree crashed in his front yard.

Grant and his wife Caitlin moved to Burlington in July (in Caitlin’s case returning to her hometown).

Grant put out the word to a Christian workout group he’s a part of (known as F3, which stands for Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith) and told its members he had a different kind of workout in mind for Saturday morning, soliciting volunteers to begin at 8:00.  By 11:00, their work was almost complete.

About a dozen members of that group, family, friends, and neighbors came out to help with chain saws, blowers, and muscle to cut up the tree and haul it to the curb.  Cleaning up the hundreds of acorns was also a task, as workers filled a wheel barrow and swept and carried  leaves and tree limbs to the curb, as well.


The old adage that “many hands make light work” didn’t necessarily contemplate the size and magnitude of cleaning up a large oak tree, but as homeowner Grant Brooks noted, it was a different kind of workout for his fitness group.
Acorns were strewn all along the driveway and in the grass, practically filling up a wheel barrow.

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