'I want to give back:' Landscapers begin removing trees from Wilmington homes

Posted September 19, 2018 10:30 p.m. EDT
Updated September 19, 2018 10:56 p.m. EDT

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The lights were back on Wednesday night for thousands in New Hanover County, but the work that lies ahead is overwhelming.

“Pretty much devastation here in Wilmington, probably across the Cape Fear,” resident Debbie Kostern said.

In the Forrest Hills section of Wilmington, a tarp covered what used to be a skylight at one home, but those homeowners were among the lucky ones. Many of their neighbors did not weather the storm as well.

“There are so many people that don’t have power, don’t have food, don’t have anything,” resident Roscoe Stanton said.

Throughout the area, tree cutters have the backbreaking task of tackling hundred year old oaks that are perched on homes.

“We’ve got a couple trucks, couple Ditch Witches, Bobcats,” said Jack Sexton with Sexton Lawns Unlimited. “We hadn’t got out of this neighborhood in four days.”

The work is profitable, Sexton admits, but the damage is so widespread and the devastation so heartbreaking that he can’t ignore the need.

“If they’re in need, they need work don’t and can’t afford it or just afford a little bit, I want to give back,” he said.

Thursday will be the eighth day for residents scrambling for basic necessities, but many in Wilmington remain grateful.