Wednesday, August 08, 2001

Crews clear streams, creeks

Cleanup may lessen future damage

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MIAMI TOWNSHIP — They hauled the tree limbs and stumps out by hand, dragged much of it from the stream bed up over its bank, and piled it on level ground.

        About two dozen young adults from the Civilian Conservation Corps, a division of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources have been working for more than two weeks on cleanup of streams and creeks in Clermont County.

[photo] Nick Mungle, 18, of Portsmouth, Ohio, with other Civilian Conservation Corps members, removes debris from the bank of Wolfpen Run creek in Miami Township, Clermont County
(Michael Snyder photo)
| ZOOM |
        Tuesday, they were working the Wolfpen Run creek in Miami Township. Days earlier, they were up to their waists in Sugar Camp Run creek, less than a mile away.

        Crews have been working since July 26, a week after storms swelled creeks and stream, flooded homes and took out bridges,to minimize the impact from the next hard rain.

        “They were assigned the task of removing 16 logjams from streams at 11 different sites in the county,” said Sally Prouty, chief of ODNR's Division of Civilian Conservation. “The idea is to get the debris out of the streams so that when rains come again the potential for flooding is so much less.”

        The CCC crews have filled more than 20 dump trucks with debris. The crews — all from CCC camps in Portsmouth and Dayton, ages 18 to 24 — worked for nine straight days after the flooding before taking last weekend off.

        “It's all about teamwork. We stress that,” said Randy Beinlich, manager of the Portsmouth camp. “You hear people saying things like the young people today are lazy. I'd like to invite them out here. Watch the Corps members work.”

        The work being done is the result of a partnership between the county, the township, ODNR, the governor's office, Ohio Emergency Management Agency and Ohio Department of Transportation.

        Sarah Smith, 20, of Portsmouth, has been working as a Corps member for close to two years.

        “It's a great learning experience,” she said. “You work with chain saws, heavy equipment, carpentry and electrical skills. But the best part is you're helping people.”

        Brian Piccolo, 24, of Portsmouth, has only been a Corps member for a month. “It's kind of rough,” he said. “You have to know the people you're working with. There's a lot of teamwork. You get wet, you get dirty, but it's a blast.”

        Mr. Beinlich has been where the young adults are now. He was a Corps member 17 years ago, then joined the staff and has worked for CCC ever since. “I'm pretty proud of my people,” said Mr. Beinlich.


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