Local hand lends aid to devastation

Tonya Garner: CNJ Staff Writer

A former Clovis resident has been using his job training in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina hit in September.

Blanton Christesson, a 1971 Clovis High graduate, is a foreman at Environmental Restoration Co. of St. Louis, Mo.

The foreman said he and his crew worked seven days a week and often saw 15 hour days. Christesson’s first mission was to drive a boat and assist with Search and Rescue. He said the victims were scared and upset.

“Every day had new challenges and obstacles,” Christesson said.

Christesson rated the devastation a 10 on a scale of one to 10.

“I never thought I would see that in my lifetime,” Christesson said. “It was unreal.”

The Clovis native piloted a boat for the Environmental Protection Agency as they collected water samples from Lake Pontchartrain.

Christesson said he and fellow workers were evacuated from the New Orleans area for Hurricane Rita, but returned three days later to continue their work.

Compiled by CNJ staff writer Tonya Garner. Her e-mail address is: tonya_garner@link.freedom.com