Terex helps clean up tornado damage
By Terex Corporation
August 23, 2011 - On Wednesday, April 27, just after 8:00 p.m. ET, an EF-4 tornado hit Ringgold, Ga. Working in North Carolina when the tornado touched down, Tad Agoglia, founder of First Response Team of America, and his crew packed up immediately and arrived on the scene within hours. Months later, the cleanup effort continues.
By Terex Corporation
August 23, 2011 – On Wednesday, April 27, just after 8:00 p.m. ET, an
EF-4 tornado hit Ringgold, Ga. Working in North Carolina when the
tornado touched down, Tad Agoglia, founder of First Response Team of
America, and his crew packed up immediately and arrived on the scene
within hours. Months later, the cleanup effort continues.
With the help of hundreds of volunteers, donations and specialized
equipment, the First Response Team has worked alongside municipal crews
in Ringgold to remove thousands of yards of storm debris from power
lines, the roadways and the cemetery. And because many homeowners’
insurance policy do not cover the cost of cleanup, Agoglia’s crews have
also helped homeowners move debris from their lots to the roadside for
pick-up, free of charge.
All hands on deck!
“It is our commitment to save lives and restore hope. We were determined
to get right in the middle of what was going on, simply because it was
the right thing to do,” said Agoglia. “First Response Team is a
non-profit organization and is able to assist our neighbors in need
thanks to the generosity of donors and volunteers.”
Terex was one of several equipment manufacturers who donated time and
equipment to aid Agoglia’s crews with the cleanup efforts. Terex
provided a PT-100G compact track loader equipped with a grapple bucket
attachment for First Response Team to use for more than two months. The
PT-100G was selected because it has a 99.9-HP engine and a 4,000-pound operating capacity, the power and performance the First Response Team
needed to easily and quickly remove storm debris.
“Using the Terex PT-100G, we could clear a whole home site within
hours,” said Agoglia. “We helped more than 70 families by removing storm
debris and clearing their properties so rebuilding could begin.”
On the ground for almost 50 miles, with sustaining winds between 175-190 MPH, the powerful tornado left a one-third to one-half mile wide path
of devastation in its wake. With the roads blocked by debris, one of the
first challenges when the First Response Team arrived was getting to
those in need. Another immediate challenge was to clear debris off power
lines so repair crews could restore power to the area. And, the local
cemetery needed to be cleaned up so the dead could be buried.
“I have never seen anything like it,” said Terex Product Manager Jamie
Wright. “The tornado only lasted about five minutes, and in that time it
destroyed hundreds of homes, without even siding or shingles left on
some sites. We had worked with First Response before, donating the use
of two compact track loaders and a utility vehicle to help with the Gulf
oil spill clean up, so Terex was eager and willing to help again.”
Because Ringgold is located in a valley, the First Response Team had to
work in very hilly terrain. Cleanup efforts were further hampered by
rain, leaving the ground very soft and extremely muddy. Compact track
loaders are designed to work in these types of conditions, said Wright.
The PT-100G features patented Posi-Track suspended undercarriage
technology with 18-inch wide rubber tracks, giving the unit exceptional
exceptional flotation, traction and versatility so it could work on
virtually any material and in any ground condition it encountered in
tornado cleanup efforts.
Also, the PT-100G has a very low center of gravity, exceptional
stability and ground clearance, improving productivity when working on
the side hills and uneven terrain in Ringgold. It’s two-speed
hydrostatic drive system combined with it’s load sensing high-flow
auxiliary hydraulics, the PT-100G quickly moved storm debris, like
fallen trees, boats, appliances, siding and concrete blocks quickly from
home sites to the road.
“The residents in Ringgold may not have known who Terex was before the
tornado struck,” says Agoglia, “but they saw the Terex machine show up
day after day, helping them overcoming the devastation in their lives.
They came to rely on and trust in the brand. Together, Terex and First
Response gave people hope and helped them feel encouraged again. That’s
what we were there for.”