Originally created 05/15/98

Community tornado cleanup Saturday



An army of volunteers will descend on Edgefield County, S.C., on Saturday morning to help clean up the mess left by last week's tornado.

Anyone who would like to volunteer should meet at the Merriwether Fire Department at 8 a.m. Call Fire Chief Rudy Brooks at (803) 279-8001 for details.

The Aiken Baptist Association also has scheduled a cleanup day for Saturday. Participants should meet at Sweetwater Baptist Church at 8 a.m. For information, call (803) 827-0897.

Councilman Danny Bishop, who represents the Merriwether section of Edgefield County, said heavy equipment and operators from the cities of North Augusta and Aiken will be on hand to help.

"We need people to come out with their work gloves on and go down in yards and get it to the roadside," Mr. Bishop said. "This is the day for all people who have called to come to the aid of the people of Merriwether and the Westside."

Tornado damage in Edgefield County was estimated Tuesday at $4.1 million, but state officials say the losses aren't enough to qualify victims for low-interest loans or direct federal disaster relief.

The South Carolina Department of Insurance, however, will provide assistance to tornado victims in Aiken and Edgefield counties.

Victims should first contact their insurance company representative to resolve their claim, and if further assistance is needed, individuals should contact the department's Office of Consumer Services at 1612 Marion St., Columbia, SC 29201.

Residents of the affected areas can also call (800) 768-3467 or (803) 737-6180. The fax number is 737-6231.

Consumer information pertaining to the steps that can be taken to resolve insurance claims is also available and can be mailed to anyone who requests the information. The information also can be found on the department's Web site at www.state.sc.us/doi/.