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Power slow to return in NC

Last week's ice storm in NC provides more work for volunteers.

BY TRAVIS DUNN | TRINITY, NC | March 3, 2003

Volunteer work crews were still cleaning up tree limbs from December's ice storm here when another storm hit the state last week.

Billy Tarleton, who has been coordinating work crews for Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, said his crews had about a week to go before they were expected to be all finished.

Now, thanks to the damage caused last week, Tarleton said his teams will have to work an additional week to clean up the new mess.

A total of 350,000 in North Carolina were left without electricity by last week's storm, Duke Power reported Friday. About 17,000 were still without power Monday, but Duke Power estimated that most of these homes would have power restored by midnight.

Most of the damage occurred in the Triangle area (around Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point) which received more than half an inch of ice.

In comparison, however, the damage from the most recent storm was nowhere near as damaging as the last one.

"If you look at numbers across the state, this one wasn't as bad as December," said Richard Brunson, executive director of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief for North Carolina.

That doesn't mean that volunteer groups don't have anything to do.

The Salvation Army dispatched a mobile canteen to Forsythe County, and set up five temporary shelters for displaced residents, according to Mike Patterson, emergency disaster services director for the Salvation Army in North and South Carolina.

All of those shelters were closed over the weekend, Patterson said.

A slight rise in temperature since Friday helped to alleviate a situation that could have been even worse.

"It basically remained above freezing since Friday, so that really helped," he said. Most of the ice melted in the two days following the storm.

But around the Triangle area, there are still plenty of tree limbs scattered all over the place, and Southern Baptist volunteers are currently making a preliminary assessment of the damage, according to Gaylon Moss, disaster relief coordinator for the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief of North Carolina.

Moss said he will make a decision on how to respond once he receives this assessment on Tuesday.

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