The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

May 2, 2014

H&R Agri-Power — A link in the chain of Limestone help

— To the right of Blue Springs Elementary School sits a small pop-up tent with a sign bearing the words “Chain Sharpening Free.”

It might not mean much to the average passerby, but for the victims and countless volunteers pouring into Southwest Limestone County the services offered under the tent are invaluable.

The two men under the tent are technicians at H&R Agri-Power in Tanner.

“We came out Tuesday and helped cut up trees,” technician Jonathan Holladay said.  The crew from H&R Agri-Power found out quickly that with the amount of damage sustained in the area they needed industrial equipment to get the roadways cleared.

“We figured we would be better off sharpening chains up here and helping everybody out,” Holladay said.

On Thursday with a generator buzzing in the background, Holladay was busy sharpening chains while H&R Agri-Power technician Blake Pierce put the chains back on the saws.

“We’ve probably sharpened about 200 so far,” Holladay said Thursday morning, adding they’ve already had to change out the grinding stone on the electric sharpener.

Donna Lane, a homeowner on Shaw Road, was waiting on chain saw chains to be sharpened Thursday.

Like many others in the area, the Lane family has no electricity.

“This service is fantastic,” she said of the chain sharpening tent. Lane, who had trees fall on and around her house, didn’t mind the wait. She was thrilled the services were being offered. 

“We had a couple of employees that were actually impacted,” manager Van Barksdale said, adding salesman Phillip Wright’s mother’s home was a total loss. Wright also lives in the area and had landscape damage. “We decided to try to do something that would help everybody. I thought if we do the chain sharpening it would in a small way help.”

Barksdale added that so many needed help that at first, they didn’t know where to start. “We just wanted to help everybody trying to clean up,” Barksdale said.  “Hopefully, it’s a valuable tool.”

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