Former Berryville resident returns to head clean-up

Friday, March 6, 2009
Terry Wood, a Berryville High School graduate who is now retired from the National Guard and Arkansas Nuclear One, is back in his hometown to oversee the massive limb pickup program that is underway. Wood was at the city's 27-acre future industrial park property off Hailey Road where the limbs are unloaded by an Alabama outfit. A Huntsville firm is chipping the limbs and hauling them off to market. Anna Mathews / Carroll County News

BERRYVILLE -- A dozen local people are on the payroll helping with Berryville's limb pickup program.

The entire project qualifies for federal and state reimbursement under President Barack Obama's disaster declaration.

Terry Wood, a Berryville High School graduate now retired from the Arkansas Army National Guard and Arkansas Nuclear One, is one of those hired hands, although he's not technically a "local" anymore since taking up residence at Russellville.

Wood said he was recruited by Mayor Tim McKinney to serve as "project leader" because he has prior experience with disaster cleanup, having worked for a recovery management firm.

Wood, in turn, enlisted the help of fellow retired guardsmen Sandy Williams and Sammy Smith, plus Carroll Electric retiree Garry Shelton and Grandview cattle farmer Jimmy Harp.

Williams serves as "field lead," while the others are monitors and city safety representatives at the limb drop-off site, located along Hailey Road at the city's 27-acre future industrial park.

There, they "gauge" the amount of loose limbs hauled in by each transport truck, using federal guidelines to estimate volume.

Wood said the size of a gas cook stove equals one cubic yard, according to a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manual.

They, along with other 'local" site monitors working in the field, are overseeing the work being done by International Equipment Distributors (IED).

It is an Alabama outfit, one of nine firms that bid the job with bids ranging from $108 per cubic yard from a Missouri firm to IED's low of $24.

IED crews are operating two trucks with "knuckle booms" that can self-load and unload, two dump trucks that work in unison with bobcats and excavators, and several bucket trucks used for hanging limb removal.

The field monitors are overseeing IED crews who are picking up limbs along city streets and cutting the "hanging" limbs along the city's right-of-ways.

Field monitors include Truman Stark, R.D. Butler, Randy Williams, Greg Parton, James Bell, Kenny Kell and Doby Williams.

In addition to the monitors, Terri Walker of Huntsville is keeping track of the all paperwork and computer entries at "headquarters," which is the Berryville Fire Station, Wood said.

All are "temporary" Berryville city employees who are working 10-hour days, he said, on a job that will likely take three weeks or more to complete.

All Berryville limbs are being hauled to the city's acreage on Hailey Road, where they are being chipped by Gary Easterling of Huntsville, who is using an in-line chipper that can handle logs up to 16 inches.

Easterling is involved in the project as a sub-contactor, brought in by IED to chip and remove.

According to Mayor McKinney, Easterling will haul away and market the wood chips on his own.

The city has its own stack of wood chips from what city crews chipped, and those can be distributed as mulch.

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