Brundidge Rotarians talk tornadoes, tires

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Brundidge Rotary Club discussed ways the club could assist the victims of the two tornadoes that hit Pike County on Christmas Day at its Wednesday meeting.

Michael Lawler, immediate past president, told the Rotarians that 66 structures were damaged by the tornadoes and, as of Wednesday, only 10 of those structures are livable.

“Twelve homes were totally destroyed and 27 of the structures were uninsured,” Lawler said. “It’s unknown how many of the other structures were under insured. When you have damage like this, it’s likely that many of them were under insured.”

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Lawler said the club has money in its Christmas fund that could be donated to the victims’ fund, with the Pike County Branch of the American Red Cross as the case management lead.

“We could also look to see if the District has funding available for disasters and, if so, the possibility of a matching grant,” Lawler said. “Or the club could take a family as a project.”

The Club will consider its options in providing assistance to the victims.

The Rotarians recognized Tonya Carter and The Wagon Wheel Restaurant on the one-year anniversary of Club’s meeting at The Wagon Wheel.

Rotarian Lamar Steed, owner of Steed Tire Service in Brundidge, was the program host and talked tires with the club members.

Steed said the tire business has “moved fast,” especially in the last five to 10 years with technology playing a huge role in the motor vehicle business.

“Gas mileage comes from the tires,” Steed said. “So, it’s important to keep the air pressure at the recommended level. The air pressure in your tires could drop up to four pounds in cold weather and could rise that much in hot weather.”

Steed said keeping a check on the air pressure is worth the trouble.

“When the air pressure drop so does the mileage,” he said. “Not having the recommended level of air pressure puts drag on the car and the gas mileage goes down.”

Steed said there are small computers inside tires that alert motorists when the air pressure is not at the recommended level.

“Some of the newer tires have green valve caps,” he said. “That indicates that there’s nitrogen in the tire that helps hold the air pressure at 32 pounds. Keeping the air pressure level means better gas mileage so it is worth it to keep it checked.”

Steed said a recent change that increases gas mileage is the elimination of the spare tire.

“That takes off about 50 pounds and the lighter the car, the better the gas mileage,” he said. “When most people have a flat, they don’t usually change it themselves. They call for help. So, the spare tire is not as important as it used to be.”

Air tanks are replacing the spare tire in some vehicles and can be used to inflate the tire long enough to get to a service station, Steed said.

The life expectancy of tires in continually increasing. Steed said some tires have an expectancy of 80,000 to 120,000 miles.

That being so, Steed said it would seem that tire dealerships would have a difficult time surviving.

“But, where we used to have one-car families, the average family now has three cars,” Steed said. “Even though tires are lasting a lot longer, we’ve got a lot more cars on the road. And, that’s good if you’re in the tire business.”