published Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Tornado-felled trees cleared from Rock Creek

Bobby Davenport
Bobby Davenport
Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Walker County, Ga., work crews were busy this week removing tornado-felled trees from Rock Creek and other small creeks on Lookout Mountain.

"They're down in the middle of the creek right now dragging out the tornado-downed trees," Bobby Davenport, development director of the Lula Lake Land Trust, said Friday afternoon.

County Coordinator David Ashburn said county road workers are removing trees that are across the creek so driftwood and debris won't get hung up on them and create a beaver dam-type log jam that could cause flooding.

"We've got guys in tennis shoes and shorts, and they're going into the creek and cutting the trees up," Ashburn said. Workers also are using cables to drag trees out of the creek, he said.

The fallen timber is transferred by dump truck to the Walker County landfill for inert material on Marbletop Road.

"It's been very labor-intensive," Ashburn said. "We have to have it all finished by next Friday."

To prevent erosion, county workers have been seeding soil left bare by the work and covering it with straw, which are "best management practices," he said.

Ashburn said workers have been removing trees felled by the April 11, 2011, tornado in five locations: Rock Creek Road, Nickajack Road, Vulcan Drive, the Turkey Run subdivision and Rainbow Drive.

The tree cleanup is being funded by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, which awarded $6,203 in grant funding to clean up the trees, and the National Resources Conservation Service, which awarded several grants totaling about $44,000, said Kelia Kimbell, planning director and stormwater program manager for Walker County.

"They're being basically hired by the state to clean up the creek," Davenport said. "I'm grateful they were asked by the state to do this."

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.

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