Happening in Harrisburg
Issue No. 16
March 6, 2012
(Above) On Thursday, March 1, Mayor Tim Hagler participated in Harrisburg Elementary's Read Across America, reading "Fox in Socks" to eager third grade students. For more images, visit www.facebook.com/harrisburgnc.
Email your Harrisburg photos to Melinda Skutnick, email@example.com
. At least one picture from all submissions will be featured here each month.
Tornado strikes Harrisburg
Shortly after 2:30 a.m. on March 3, an EF2 tornado traveled from Mecklenburg County into Cabarrus County. Nearly 50 homes on the edge of Harrisburg were damaged, some completely destroyed by the storm.
Since early that Saturday morning, dozens to hundreds of individuals have been working to help those families affected rebuild their lives and homes as best as possible. From the local chapters of the American Red Cross to volunteers and municipality staffers, countless people have pitched a hand in the days that followed. And those same folks, and many more, will undoubtedly continue the same actions in the weeks ahead in addition to Governor Bev Perdue, Congressman Larry Kissell, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and local businesses, all of whom have pledged their help as well.
The Town of Harrisburg thanks every individual who has come forward during this time of need to help our residents and our neighbors in Mecklenburg County who have been affected by this natural disaster. Whether it's been a Facebook note asking how to lend a hand, a phone call or picking up a shovel to move debris on site, every moment of your time is appreciated as our Town and these victims recover.
Comments from Communications
Melinda Skutnick, Communications Specialist
Ensuring our residents are informed following a tragic event such as this weekend's tornado is a vital component of communications. From our website, HarrisburgNC.org, to our social media venues, keeping everyone abreast of each update was of the utmost importance these last few days.
Moving forward, the Town hopes to continue providing our residents with breaking Harrisburg news and increasing these efforts to guarantee you hear it from us first.
If you aren't following the Town of Harrisburg's social media pages, visit us at www.facebook.com/harrisburgnc or www.twitter.com/harrisburg_nc and begin today. Likewise, sign up for the Town's emails -- under "Join our email list" on the Town website -- to receive pertinent information straight to your inbox.
Happy Birthday, Harrisburg!
March 15Care to wish someone special in the community a "happy birthday"? Want to see your own celebration day listed? Email those birthday notices to Melinda Skutnick, firstname.lastname@example.org, for publication in future issues.
Lucky and Champ Brown (Fur Babies) -- age 2, 14 in dog years
Sarah Johnson Brown -- age "28 again"
Dustin Antoff -- age 17
Dylan Antoff -- age 17
Parks & Recreation
4088 Stallings Road
Harrisburg, NC 28075
Harrisburg Fire Department
Public Works Department
Water and Sewer Emergency
Looking for employment with the Town of Harrisburg? Job openings are posted to our town website, HarrisburgNC.org, under the "Employment Opportunities" tab.
Click here to view which positions are currently accepting applications. Job postings remain on our website until they are filled.
Due to this weekend's tragic events, this edition of "Happening in Harrisburg" was issued one day late. We apologize for the delay, but appreciate your understanding.
Calendar of Events
March 8 -- 5:30 p.m. -- Economic Development Committee meeting @ Town Hall
March 12 -- 5:30 p.m. -- Harrisburg Town Council budget pre-meeting @ Town Hall
March 12 -- 7 p.m. -- Harrisburg Town Council meeting @ Town Hall
March 15 -- 7 p.m. -- Fire Advisory Board budget meeting @ Fire Department's Administration Offices, 6462 Morehead Road
March 20 -- 7 p.m. -- Planning and Zoning Board meeting @ Town Hall
March 26 -- 7 p.m. -- Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting @ Town Hall
Congressman sends rep to H'Burg
Town of Harrisburg officials and residents voice concerns.
On Feb. 23, Chris Kelley, legislative director for Congressman Larry Kissell, visited Harrisburg to hear the concerns of the Town regarding the impending Haydock-to-Junker rail project. Weeks beforehand, Rep. Kissell pledged his support to the Town of Harrisburg in their fight against the project.
"I may not be on your committee," said Kelley in reference to the Town of Harrisburg NC Railroad Committee, comprised of Town Councilmen and residents, "but I am on your side."
The Committee as well as Town staffers explained the project -- including its history -- to Kelley, noting specific concerns, frustrations and misconceptions.
Said Kelley, "We share your frustration as well ... We are going to do everything we can ... I wouldn't be here if this wasn't a high priority."
Mentioning that high-speed rail is a positive for the state and connectivity is desired, Kelley noted that it is still important for each town and city along the rail route to be considered. "You have to pay attention to how it affects communities along the way."
He added, "This is our district and we're focused on this like a laser."
Following the meeting held at Town Hall, a first-hand tour of the railroad closings designated for closure was provided to Kelley prior to his departure.
From the Interim Town Administrator's Desk
Lee Connor, Interim Town Administrator/Finance Director
Given the events that have recently stricken our community, I felt it better to write from the Interim Town Administrator position rather than solely the Finance Director.
As with many organizations, there often exists some type of disaster plan. For local governments, there are often very extensive plans as the nature and scope of disasters can be on very large scales. This weekend our community was rocked by an EF2 tornado that directly impacted nearly 50 homes. Harrisburg Fire Department was the first on the scene and coordinated the emergency response teams. In my normal capacity as the Finance Director, I would not have been asked to report to the scene. However, in my current capacity, I was notified of the event by Fire Chief Bryan Dunn and I arrived, along with Mayor Tim Hagler, early Saturday morning to assess the situation and damage. This enabled me to get a glimpse of this large emergency response and I have to say it was impressively organized in the midst of absolute disaster surrounding everyone. Not only did we have a significant amount of our fire department on scene, but we also had members of the Flowe Store Volunteer Fire Department, Concord Fire Department, Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office, Cabarrus County Emergency Management, County Fire Marshal, Cabarrus County EMS, Concord Police Department, NC State Emergency Management and the American Red Cross, among others. The entire operation appeared seamless and focused on the well-being of the residents. The Mayor and some members of Town Council toured the area and spoke with the homeowners. We even had a visit from Congressman Larry Kissell and his wife as they toured the area and met with residents. The Town has already begun work to get federal aid in the form of low cost loans to make repairs to homes. Local churches and other agencies are coordinating efforts to assist those in need. The Town's Public Works Department is also assisting with debris removal.
It makes me proud to work for the Town as I see this level of response. I hope everyone can feel comfortable that they live in a community where the Town staff, elected officials and other organizations band together in a unified effort to help those in need.
Drip, drip, drip: Public Works
As part of an ongoing effort to improve pedestrian safety and access throughout the Town, construction will begin in March on sidewalks along the east side of Morehead Road and the south side of Morris Drive. Work is scheduled to last 90 days. The purpose of the project will be to create a "loop" from Highway 49 down Morehead Road to Rocky River Crossing Drive, which currently has sidewalks that connect Morehead Road with Roberta Road. The sidewalk along Morris Drive from Morehead Road to Patricia Avenue will promote foot traffic to businesses that front Morris Drive. Bids are currently being solicited from licensed contractors to construct the project for the Town. The project is being funded through a Congestion Management Air Quality (CMAQ) Grant from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). Harrisburg's Public Works Department will oversee the construction. Derek Slocum, Town Engineer, is the primary contact person for the project, (704) 455-4758.
Motorists on Morehead Road and Morris Drive should use caution when traveling in the construction area for the duration of this project as temporary lane closures are anticipated to provide a safe work environment for the construction crews. Signs, flaggers and other traffic control devices will warn drivers prior to entering these work zones. However, the Town anticipates only slight inconveniences to residents and local businesses due to the fact that construction will be limited to the hours between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, on Morehead Road. Construction will also be suspended on Morehead Road during race week.
From the Front Lines: Harrisburg Fire Department
Bryan Dunn, Fire ChiefDavid Montague, Fire Marshal (article contributor)email@example.com@harrisburgfiredepartment.com
Severe Weather Awareness Week
March 4-10, 2012
A few facts about severe weather :
- Lightning occurs within all thunderstorms.
- Average 93 deaths and 300 injuries each year.
- Causes several hundred million dollars in damage to property annually.
- Flash Floods are the number one thunderstorm killer annually, approximately 140 deaths -- most deaths occur at night.
- Tornadoes can have winds up to 200 mph and result in catastrophic damage to structures.
- Most deaths occur when occupants fail to evacuate mobile homes and non-substantial structures.
Lessen the impact of severe weather on your family and community through preparedness. Have a plan, maintain awareness by staying informed about rapidly changing weather, and maintain a home safety kit. For more information, see our website.