08/13/07 — Plenty of limbs waiting for city crews to chip

View Archive

Plenty of limbs waiting for city crews to chip

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on August 13, 2007 1:46 PM

A tree sprawled across Jefferson Avenue kept Goldsboro crews busy this morning as city officials, residents and staff members continued efforts to clean up what Friday night's storm left behind.

Reminders of the event can still be seen on or lining most streets -- clumps of pinestraw and mud in roadways, branches piled high on curbs and front lawns.

But Public Works Director Neil Bartlett said he is confident that by the end of the week, his crews will have order restored.

"I would suspect that we are going to use everybody that we can for at least a couple of days," he said. "Just about everybody who's available."

City trucks will make their way through the neighborhoods that got the worst of the storm -- the Herman Park and Goldsboro High School areas and the blocks behind Stoney Creek Park.

"Those who got hit bad are getting a lot of attention," Bartlett said.

But the work did not just begin this morning.

In fact, many city employees came in as the storm peaked and stayed through the night, Bartlett said.

"When I was coming into town Friday evening, when I saw the damage we had, I got on the phone," he said. "Every person I called, there was no hesitation. They were just as dedicated as can be."

Crews began clearing trees early Saturday, as did local residents.

Bartlett said what is left will be taken either to the city's compost facility or landfill.

Still, some fear that once the debris is cleared and the damage to local homes is assessed, other problems associated with a storm of this magnitude will surface.

Chief Building Inspector Ed Cianfarra is warning residents about a "scam" that he said becomes more common in the wake of damaging storms.

It starts, he added, with a knock on the door -- a man or woman standing behind it with the promise of cheap labor and quick repair.

"They know that people will be getting checks from their insurance companies," Cianfarra said. "They come up and tell you, 'I'll fix your house if you give me some cash for supplies.'"

A few hours later, the money -- and the "so-called contractor" -- are gone.

So Cianfarra is urging residents to research the person who offers a quick-fix with a "simple phone call" to the city Inspections Department he said might save you hundreds in the end.

"Don't just give cash to the first guy who walks by," Cianfarra said. "If you do, I wouldn't count on seeing that money anytime soon."