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Contractor Recalls Duties After Hurricane Isabel Hit NC

Wed October 26, 2005 - Southeast Edition
CEG



In a year of one hurricane after another, one contractor can’t help but think back two years ago to the work he did in North Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Isabel.

On Sept. 12, 2003, the storm tore a path of destruction through Cape Hatteras, NC, with winds up to gale force 10. Man-made sand dunes that protect local inhabitants were scattered throughout the area, thoroughly mixed with concrete and asphalt rubble, as well as wood, stone, clay, glass and other debris from approximately 100 destroyed homes, plus hotels and other structures.

The problem was to recover the sand, rebuild 1.8 mi. of protective dunes, and use the oversize material as fill where the land had eroded — and do it as quickly, efficiently and economically as possible.

The solution was a heavy-duty Powerscreen Warrior 1800 primary screening plant processing 5,500 cu. yds. (4,205 cu m) per day of material split 95 percent sand and 5 percent other. Approximately 100,000 cu. yds. (76,500 cu m) of finished sand was processed.

The scattered sand mixed with debris was gathered and trucked to the recovery site. The Warrior 1800 separated the mixture with a three-way split. Oversize plus 3 in. material was used as fill in eroded and torn up beach and other areas. Midsize 3 in. to 1.5 in. materials were used as cover over the fill. Fines minus .25 in. were used to rebuild the 1.8 mi. of sand dunes and grass seed was scattered throughout for extra strength.

Crowder-Gulf Disaster Recovery and Debris Management was in charge of the operation. Project Supervisor Todd Missildine knew he had to move quickly and needed dependable equipment and a reliable, knowledgeable dealer. He immediately called Andrew Coney, owner and president of Powerscreen Mid-Atlantic, in Turnersville, NC.

“They were my first and only choice,” Missildine said. “They have an excellent reputation; plus I knew them from previous jobs. I never even got a quote from anyone else. I knew Andrew Coney wouldn’t take advantage of me, and I had to get the project started right away. Calling Powerscreen Mid Atlantic was an easy decision.”

Roads were impassable, covered by up to 5 ft. of sand in many places. So Coney went by boat to meet with Missildine the next day on Cape Hatteras. Coney advised using the Warrior 1800 because it can easily handle fine screening and C&D materials at the same time. Further, the remote-controlled, tracked chassis provided easy on-site mobility.

Missildine gave Coney the go-ahead on a lease plan a few days later. Coney had the Warrior 1800 at Cape Hatteras, set up and working, in two days. How he got it there is another story.

“No way we could get the equipment to Hatteras by road,” Coney said. “But the North Carolina Department of Transportation supplied a heavy-duty ferry boat, and we were able to sail the Warrior over from Stumpy Point to Cape Hatteras. The trip took over four hours. Fortunately, the tracked chassis enabled us to drive the machine on and off the ferry with no trouble.”

The sight that awaited them was one he won’t soon forget.

“When we landed at Cape Hatteras we felt like storm troopers going ashore on some bombarded island,” he said.

Approximately 50 homes were gone completely, with just foundations showing where sand hadn’t covered them up. Another 50 homes and buildings were 60 percent to 80 percent damaged. In other nearby areas, homes and buildings were virtually untouched.

“Since time and cost were such critical issues, we had a service technician on site for the first week to train and assist the crew in running the machine and doing the little maintenance it needed,” Coney said. “After that they took over with no trouble at all. It’s an easy machine to operate and maintain.”

The crew ran that Warrior 1800 for 18 to 20 hours a day with no breakdowns or other problems of any kind.

The Warrior 1800 is designed to be mobile, flexible and aggressive — built for high-capacity operations in sand and gravel, topsoil, coal, crushed stone, C&D recycling and compost. The machine is capable of screening, three-way splitting and stockpiling. Typically the unit can be set up ready to run in 15 to 20 minutes. It screens up to 600 tons per hour, depending on material.

The two-bearing screen box is 16 by 52 ft., runs at 15 to 18 degrees, and has an adjustable throw and screen speed. Hopper capacity is 10 cu. yds. (7.6 cu m) with a wide exit opening for large items such as tree stumps, logs and boulders. Another feature is the ability to use different screen configurations such as punch plate, fingers screens, grid bars, woven mesh or speed harps. The Warrior 1800 used at Cape Hatteras had a 3 in. punch plate top deck and .25 in. harp bottom deck.

The incline/horizontal belt feed hopper discharges onto the screen box from above so the material drop weight causes it to spread on impact and flow more equally over the screen. The rear hopper door folds down hydraulically to allow level material feed from a conveyor or crusher working in tandem. Wide, low-ground-pressure tracks give excellent on-site mobility.

Crowder-Gulf is located in Tallahassee, FL, and Theodore, AL.

In 30 years of work in the field, the company has never had a disputed claim for reimbursement.

Powerscreen Mid-Atlantic is headquartered in Turnersville, NC, and has regional offices in South Carolina and Virginia. The company is a dealer for Powerscreen and Terex Pegson products.

Powerscreen Mid Atlantic is no stranger to big jobs. In 2003, it also had a Chieftain 1400 working at Kitty Hawk, NC,/ in preparation for the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers historic flight. And in 1998, it had seven Powerscreen machines cleaning up after a hurricane at Topsail Island, NC.