Work crews work to clean up storm damage at Craig FieldPublished 8:15pm Thursday, July 25, 2013
By Sarah Mahan
The Selma Times-Journal
Along with many other residents and local businesses, Craig Field Airport and Industrial Park is hard at work clearing debris caused by the damaging storms that swept through the community Tuesday.
Strong winds associated with the storms caused several trees — and even a few buildings — to collapse in the park, leaving days of work for cleanup crews.
Menzo Driskell, executive director of Craig Field Airport and Industrial Authority, said workers began clean up at the park as soon as the rain ended.
“We’ve been working on cleanup ever since it stopped raining and was dry enough for us to get to work,” Driskell said. “I got everyone and their brother working on the damage here. I haven’t stopped to count all the trees we have down, but there are a lot.”
Driskell said two structures and several trees did not survive Tuesday’s storms.
“It took most of our old pine trees down near the entrance and the roof off a small pump station located here on Craig field. A barn-type structure where we store equipment is on the ground, and I don’t believe it can be repaired. A tree was blown onto the roof of the house, but we quickly got that cleaned up,” he said. “Some of our power structures have been damaged and needed to be replaced. We were without power for about two days.”
Driskell said the costs of debris removal and building repairs are mounting.
“The funds to repair from the storm are coming out-of-pocket. Our insurance only covers some of our main buildings, but many of the damaged ones aren’t covered,” he said.
Many of the park’s staff — and even city employees — have come to help with cleanup efforts.
“We have a lot of cleanup help though. Some workers from the city of Selma are here helping and even an industry here at Craig, Alabama Pine and Timber, is helping us remove trees,” he said. “We have a little over 10 people out here helping today. The city’s people have work to do from the storm in the city, so I have a tree-cutting service coming out here [Friday].”
Cleanup crews hope to have most of the storm damage cleared and repaired by early next week.
“We have an industrial visit next Tuesday, so we are trying to make the air field as presentable as possible. In some cases, people will be working through the weekend,” Driskell said. “We’ve got good people out here working, and we really appreciate the help. Hopefully, we get everything done on schedule.”