The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

August 10, 2012

LEVINE: Residents step up to help with storm cleanup

CLINTON — The Fulton Country Club should have been closed for a week.

The storm that blew through on Saturday knocked down trees and caused damage all over the Gateway area, including the golf course in Fulton.

With the biggest tournament of the year happening, the Ottens Memorial tournament, country club staff could ill afford a major storm. But that’s what happened, forcing about 100 people in the clubhouse, Kathy Eizenga, the clubhouse manager at the golf club, said.

When all the damage was surveyed, it became clear that no one would be allowed back out on the course Saturday, and it was described as a war zone to Eizenga.

“When this first happened, there was a guy from Indiana who said he had worked at golf courses all my life,” Eizenga said. There’s no way this will be open for a week, he said.

He overheard Eizenga discuss bringing in volunteers to help clean up the mess, which included at least 60 damaged trees, prompting the man to say that volunteers wouldn’t be good enough.

“He didn’t know Fulton well,” Eizenga said.

Eizenga and another staff member called about 10 people and tried to get them to create a phone tree about possibly picking up a few twigs on Sunday and attempting to get the course opened by the end of the week.

By 7:30 a.m. Sunday, 58 people were ready to work, equipped with trucks, trailers, tractors and chainsaws. The parking lot was full and by the time 5:30 p.m. rolled around, the members, non-members and high school kids that showed up were finished, leaving the rest of the mess for another group that came Monday.

On Tuesday morning the golf course opened up again, albeit without any power. That didn’t get restored until Tuesday night.

“I’m just utterly amazed at how well they pulled together,” Eizenga said.

That’s the beauty of small towns.

Most residents in Fulton didn’t have power, but that didn’t matter. They knew an organization needed their help, so they stepped up.

There were plenty of these stories happening all weekend, with neighbors helping out neighbors and strangers offering help to people with downed trees and no power. A town’s identity is truly shown when adversity strikes, and Fulton, along with Clinton, showcased plenty of cohesiveness.

There are things that could have been better, like the loss of power for multiple days in Fulton, but people were working around the clock to make sure all the debris was cleaned up and eventually power was restored.

Fulton and Clinton’s city workers were put to the test by having to clear streets and get people back to normal, with no obstructions in the streets.

By the time I ventured out Sunday morning, Pershing Boulevard looked like a mess. Trees were all over yards, but the streets were clear. City crews were hard at work after the storm to at least make the roadway passable, and then hit the streets Monday to pick up the debris.

Fulton had a similar reaction from city crews and everything was pretty much clear even before the power was restored.

Although Saturday’s storm caused a lot of damage, it gave this area hope that when something bad does happen, there will be plenty of volunteers to help.

Scott Levine is the Associate Editor of the Clinton Herald. He can be reached at scottlevine@clintonherald.com.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Race card season again? After years of mostly hedging any suggestion that racism has anything to do with President Barack Obama's ferocious opposition, there's a new racial etiquette in town. Top Democrats are slipping off the kid gloves. "To a significant extent, the Repub

    April 21, 2014

  • Report suggests a reasonable approach Illinois has long had the most units of government in the nation - 6,963 at last count. Do we need so many taxing districts to provide governmental services across the Land of Lincoln? Supporters and opponents of the status quo can both find somethin

    April 21, 2014

  • Stand up against child abuse April is National Child Abuse Month and I would like to take a moment to share that our children are precious and Clinton County has one of the highest in the state when it comes to children who have been abused. You are able to check the statistics

    April 19, 2014

  • Bills to move quickly in final days Tuesday marks the 100th and last day of this scheduled session. After Tuesday, clerks will be sent home and legislators driving and living expenses will no longer be paid by the state. That usually means remaining legislation and Fiscal Year 2015 bu

    April 19, 2014

  • Reducing money's influence in politics The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald There's no doubt that money influences politics -- in big ways. Big money influences politics in even bigger ways, sometimes leading to corruption. That's why there are federal caps on the amount of money someone c

    April 19, 2014

  • Looking for love in all the wrong places This classic Dear Margo column was published in April 2008. DEAR MARGO: I'm 30 years old and have been married to an incredible, loving, caring man for 10 years. We have a beautiful family and we adore our children. Our sex life was pretty boring at

    April 19, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor: Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract

    Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton:
    The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled “‘Fair offer’ differences” in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate statements regarding our negotiated contract proposal with the city. These incorrect statements could impact the use of your city funds negatively and unduly influence our elected representatives. So, we would like to address these points, as follows:

    April 18, 2014

  • Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton: The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled "'Fair offer' differences" in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate state

    April 18, 2014

  • The lesson of 'Camp David' The line between determination and delusion can be obscure. Sometimes, the distinction emerges only in retrospect, like a Polaroid image slowly appearing. In other instances, the difference between productive grit and self-defeating obsession is an a

    April 18, 2014

  • Wild Rose avoids another distraction Several casino operators in the state of Iowa breathed a sigh of relief Thursday when the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission voted 4-1 to reject a casino in Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids is close enough to have a possible effect on Wild Rose Casino and R

    April 18, 2014

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook