Local News

Fran Trees Brace for Strong Winds

Posted February 2, 1998

— Unlike last week's storm, if you don't live in the mountains, on the coast or near a river, you're not out of the woods. The saturated ground and wind gusts near 30-miles-per-hour in the Triangle could cause trouble for trees already weakened by Hurricane Fran.

If you have a pine tree which is leaning just a little too close to your roof or to the power lines on your street, this storm may be the thing to bring it down. That's why tree crews have been doing a lot of preventive maintenance by trimming and taking down trees which could pose a danger.

Who could forget the pictures of hundreds of trees toppled by Hurricane Fran? Those same scenes may not be so far off if we continue to get intense storms. A stump belonging to a 125 year old oak fell across three yards after heavy rains last week.

"The root system is already stressed from Hurricane Fran," explains tree company supervisor Mike Boggan. "It makes the trees vulnerable to fall over and break off with the wind we'll be having in the next couple of days."

To prevent property damage, tree companies are trimming the tops of some trees and removing others.

Power lines can snap under the weight of a tree causing widespread outages. That's why the Carolina Power and Light Company is gearing up for the storm.

"We are anticipating some problems, so we have our staff on alert ready to go where they are needed," says storm coordinator Bill England. "We have also mobilized crews from other areas to come here to help us."

?Tree removal companies say if we learned anything Fran, it's to take trees down before they become a problem.

Tree company supervisor Don Richter advises people to pay the tree guy now, otherwise you'll wind up paying the electrician, plumber, roofer, carpenter and Holiday Inn.

Tree experts advise homeowners not to try taking down large trees themselves because they could get hurt or damage their property or their neighbor's.

CP&L also wants to warn people not to touch downed lines because there's no way to tell whether or not they are still active.


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