That’s what the crew from the Chapel Hill Public Works Department did this month to help High Point after the March 6 ice storm that debilitated parts of North Carolina.
The Chapel Hill Public Works Department received an email from the North Carolina American Public Works Association that went out to members alerting them that High Point needed help.
“Each crew had their own dynamic,” said High Point Water and Sewer Superintendent Robby Stone.
“I learned from this experience that different municipalities perform clean up with different equipment,” he said.
In addition to the work crew, the town sent chain saws, a rubber track excavator and trailer, two tandem dump trucks, a single axle dump truck and a crew cab truck. An additional dump truck was sent to help on March 26 .
The team included Charles Mitchell, Warren Edwards, Rezell Alston, Wayne Thompson and Audrey Gattis .
“It was an experience,” said Crew Leader Supervisor Charles Mitchell . “Up there, they had trees everywhere, and we had to work nearly 12 hours a day.”
The crew members were paid for their workdays, and they were paid overtime for any hours over the 40-hour limit.
“The team was composed of volunteers that were willing to go out of town and work straight through,” said Public Works Operations Manager Richard Terrell .
The goal was to finish by Friday , when preparation for High Point’s annual furniture market begins.
“With their contribution, we were able to pass through about 40 percent of our streets and gets things cleaned up,” Stone said.
Stone said they might ask some cities to come back for more clean-up after the market calms down and there is more room in area hotels.
The furniture market kicks off this week, Stone said. Some storm clean up will continue during the market but kick in to full gear the week after it’s over.
High Point is also receiving assistance from Asheville, Charlotte, Gastonia and Raleigh, Terrell said .
“I speak for the entire city when I say we were very grateful to the assistance they could provide,” Stone said. “We wish nothing bad on any one else but hope that if they are in a similar situation we can help out.”
Mitchell said he enjoyed the people of High Point.
“People were friendly and constantly reminding us how they appreciated us coming down,” Mitchell said. “We felt right at home when we weren’t working and got to relax.”