East Carolina University facilities services employee Joe Garfi places tools in the back of a truck before a ground crew heads out to help with clean up efforts at Elizabeth City State University. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)
'HAPPY TO DO IT' ECU crew helps clean up damage at Elizabeth City State University
A grounds crew from East Carolina University traveled to Elizabeth City State University April 28 to help clean up damage from three tornadoes that struck the area April 25.
Four members of ECU’s ground staff left Greenville with a dump truck, a skid-steer loader, a wood chipper, chainsaws and other supplies to help clear the 27 trees that blew down Friday on the ECSU campus, ECU officials said. ECSU also lost the roof on one campus building.
ECU grounds crew members load a skid-steer loader onto a trailer in preparation to travel Monday to Elizabeth City State University to help remove debris from that campus after Friday’s tornadoes.
This isn’t the first time a crew from ECU has traveled north to help clean up the Elizabeth City campus after severe weather, said Bill Bagnell, associate vice chancellor for campus operations at ECU.
“You always reach out to a sister institution that’s in need,” Bagnell said. “We have the ability to go help them, and we’ll do that in every case.”
The National Weather Service has confirmed that three tornadoes traveled through areas in Perquimans and Pasquotank counties Friday, including areas near Elizabeth City.
ECSU officials contacted ECU and the University of North Carolina General Administration seeking assistance with storm cleanup, Bagnell said. The ECU crew volunteered to help and is expected to stay in Elizabeth City up to three days and will spend the night in a local hotel, Bagnell said. N.C. State is also sending one or two staff members to help, Bagnell said.
“Happy to do it,” said Gene Stano, the ECU grounds supervisor who will be going to ECSU. “Help out the fellow schools. We just all said, ‘Yeah, we’ll go.’”