More of the Cleanup in Pearl River

September 20, 2005

After Jeff and family had returned on September 17 in their van, Rod drove their car down on Tuesday the 20th. He had delayed to be able to teach the Sunday School class on Sunday and manage the ESL class for the Spanish folks on Monday night. Leaving at 5AM, he got down there at noon, in time to join Jeff and the Moyles at Dave and Judy's house for a cleanup session.

Pastor Barbara at Peace Lutheran Church had scheduled a six-person team to come and help us. They were Lutherans from Minneapolis who had come down for a week to help. We all pitched in to clean up some of the storm debris in Dave's yard.

View of house before any cleanup

Besides chain saws, wheelbarrows and pulling logs with chains, we banded up brush and used Dave's garden tractor to pull limbs to the FEMA pile of brush at the roadside. The band towing strap worked well as Jeff pulls a load to the front yard.

The group pitched in with every tool at our disposal, moving small brush with wheelbarrows and the tractor pull, and pulling large logs with their van and a chain.

The view at left is a good picture of the nature of the task facing residents of this Magnolia Forest neighborhood of Pearl River. All this tree debris was nice, stately pine trees just weeks ago. An extreme case is illustrated above where a large crane was used to section and take down a huge pine tree that was left leaning high above this house. The price tag was reportedly $15,000 to clear this lot of trees. We were thankful to be able to clear the Moyle lot with a generous dose of help from our Minneapolis friends.

We didn't have the heavy equipment to push logs around. But at least we had a lot of teamwork and camaradarie.

Dave and his six-member Lutheran team take an enforced break above as a commercial group takes down a tall tree on the next-door neighbor's lot. They used a Bobcat to exert force on the tree as they sawed it.

The short break was welcomed, but we didn't take many on this hot afternoon.

This big guy was the only one who would take off running across the yard with a log for the fun of it. We made good use of Dave's tractor to carry logs to the big pile at the road. I wound up driving the tractor most of the time, leaving the younger guys to load the logs.

We cleared away the remains of all the large pine trees that had been laying across the house, and cleared a path so that you could now walk around the house. There was a lot of teamwork in loading and hauling the logs and then unloading them onto the big pile at the street for pickup.

Jeff is in the middle of our Minneapolis work group, surrounded by the great pile of limbs, logs and tree debris that we had cleaned out of the yard. Many thanks for the great help to us and the other places you put in your strength.

Hard work in hot, humid weather, but there was a kind of exhiliration in working together on a hard task that needed to be done. Maybe the national news media couldn't get it, or refused to see it, but this was more typical of how people were helping each other in the storm-ravaged area. We were grateful for the help of our friends from the northern reaches of the country.

On to September 21

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