Road supt.: Storm cleanup could take up to a month

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By Damon Lawrence

Roane County Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson said there are still hundreds of trees down around the county.

“It's been bad out there,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “For people who don't have any trees down in their community, if they could get in some of these off area roads and see the trees that were just stacked up on top of each other. I'm talking about going 50-foot and cutting another tree, going 100 yards and cutting three trees. Some trees are so big that we can't even get our equipment out to get to them.”

Ferguson said he hopes what's happened this week gets declared a disaster.

That could mean some financial help from the federal government.

“It should,” he said.

Despite the frigid temperatures on the way, Ferguson said he expects his crews to continue working through the weekend.

“Probably won't be any quit,” he said.

Ferguson also asked for patience from the public.

“This process will probably take a month to clean up,” he said. “That's how bad it is.”

People can contact the road department at 882-9782 to report down trees.

“The debris is probably the least thing that I'm thinking about,” Ferguson said. “Right now all I'm thinking about is trying to clear the roadways, so people can travel.”

Ferguson said highway department worker Scott Martin was in the trauma center at University of Tennessee Medical Center. Martin was injured Tuesday while cutting trees near Camp Buck Toms.

“The tree flipped back on him,” Ferguson said. “He tried to get away from it. Don't know if he fell or if the tree knocked him down, but it pushed him face first into another tree that was on the ground.”

Ferguson said Martin never lost consciousness, but was in severe pain.

“They operated on him last night,” Ferguson said. “They operated on his leg.

Ferguson said Martin was supposed to have another surgery.

“I'm on my way up there right now,” he said. “It's my understanding that they're going to operate on his face, hopefully today.”