One week later, storm cleanup hasn’t ended for DOT crews

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 14, 2020

By Shavonne Walker

SALISBURY — After a week of rain and storms throughout the county, some of which sparked tornadoes, area maintenance crews continue to remove debris and monitor drainage systems.

“We’ve been cutting up fallen trees and making sure drainage structures are open and flowing and checking work requests,” said Mike Hedrick, county maintenance engineer for the N.C. Department of Transportation.

Hedrick said crews are still trying to assess damage.

“We’re looking at culverts or cross lines that are clogged up with debris and any that failed,” Hedrick said.

During the height of the storms, crews did what’s known as “cut and shove” — cut downed trees in the roadway and shove them aside until they could return to remove the debris. Hedrick said crews have cleared trees near U.S. 150 and Millbridge Road as well as some downed trees near Neel Road.

Since the rain has continued, he said, crews haven’t been able to a whole lot done, but they have looked at areas of standing water and made sure drainage systems are functioning properly.

During the storm, crews were in areas with rakes and shovels to keep the drainage and culverts clear of debris. Hedrick said crews also had hundreds of maintenance requests during the storm.

“We’re now going back and assessing permanent damage to culverts,” Hedrick said.

Hedrick also said crews are keeping an eye on current weather conditions.

“The ground is completely saturated and we are always looking at winds and trees that could be knocked down,” Hedrick said.