Oregon International sets up shop/Photo credit: WDAM
PETAL, MS (WDAM) -
Early Wednesday morning, two men from Oregon International arrived and got set up in front of a business in Petal to help with the tornado damage.
The company manufactures chainsaw blades and arms as well as lawnmower blades. "This is not my first disaster, we started doing this after hurricane Sandy,” said John Dilworth, product specialist with Oregon International. "I really enjoy giving back to the community." Dilworth credits his old boss with the idea of helping people who are faced with this type of situation involving tornadoes or hurricanes. People can bring their chainsaw or their chain to the small trailer located in front of the American Salvage and Outdoor Power store on US 42 just before Petal high school at Harrington Road.
They will take the chain off the saw, then inspect it and sharpen the blades of the chain and do a minor service on the saw by cleaning any dirt or debris off of the saw arm. "Especially in these situations where the tree is in the dirt and it actually damages the chain at that point,” Dilworth said. “Then, they need to stop what they're doing and get a new chain or service their old chain." The men will sharpen the chain for free, and they will be here at least until the end of the week. "Humbling, it really does, to see some of the disasters, a family losing a life, that's heartening. To hear some of the stories it really wrenches my heart,” he said. Dilworth also mentioned chainsaw safety and said safety No. 1 is to always wear one’s chaps. Chaps go in front of your legs to protect them in case the chainsaw should kickback from the tree.
“Chainsaws are very dangerous, it is the one of the most dangerous tools you can put into your hands. If you don't have a pair of chaps, you could end up with a trip to the hospital," Dilworth said.
The group arrived Wednesday morning, and the response has been tremendous they started receiving chainsaw chains once they were set up.
"We had one family that their house was completely wiped out and they had about 30 chains for us to sharpen this morning,” he said.