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NC still cleaning up

Effects of the Dec. 4 ice storm were still being felt here Tuesday.

BY TRAVIS DUNN | DURHAM, N.C. | December 17, 2002

"There are residents here in Durham who are saying this is worse than Hurricane Fran to them."

—Lin Honeycutt

The effects of the Dec. 4 ice storm that cut off electricity and knocked down thousands of trees were still being felt here Tuesday.

Volunteers with the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, set up at the Rose of Sharon Baptist Church, were still hard at work nearly two weeks after the storm that hit the entire East Coast and left North Carolina sheathed in ice.

They were joined by volunteers from many other faith-based groups.

Lin Honeycutt, a volunteer in charge of the Baptist workers here, said while power had finally been restored to everyone in the area on December 14th, much work remained to be done.

The main task, Honeycutt said, is sawing up and removing downed trees.

While volunteers were ready to help anyone, they were offering their services "primarily for seniors or disabled people," he said.

Honeycutt has plenty of help-volunteers not only from North Carolina but from Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia as well.

Monday Honeycutt had about 35 workers on hand. That's down slightly from the 50 he had over the weekend. They set up on December 9th, two days after the Rose of Sharon Church had its electricity restored.

The Southern Baptists have two other command centers set up in North Carolina, in Thomasville and Charlotte, said Gaylon Moss, disaster relief director for the Southern Baptist Men of North Carolina.

Moss said he has received a total of 423 work requests across the state, and that 246 of these projects have been completed.

Honeycutt said workers in Thomasville recently received a large influx of assistance requests, mainly because they made themselves accessible to the media. Honeycutt learned from their example and began granting interviews with local media. Now his group is getting plenty of calls.

"We want to let the people of Durham know that we are here to work for them in the name of Jesus Christ," he said.

Honeycutt doesn't know how much longer he and his volunteers will be working here, but he plans to stay until the job is finished.

"There are residents here in Durham who are saying this is worse than Hurricane Fran to them," largely because of all the downed trees, he explained.

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