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Moore County Trees Downed By Storm Create Out-Of-Pocket Expenses for Homeowners

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SOUTHERN PINES — The snow is melting, the power is back on, but the cleanup is far from over in Moore County, where homeowners are just starting to deal with the damage done by last week's wintry pounding.

Tree cutters are removing downed limbs for $25 an hour, but whole pine trees could cost $1,000 and more. Most of the time, the expense comes out of the homeowner's pocket.

Dianne Dupree cannot believe the damage in her yard. "After staying inside for five days and not really being able to get out, I'm a little shocked. It's a little worse than I realized," she says.

Removing all the trees is not cheap, and the cost usually is not picked up by homeowner's insurance.

Moore County has received a disaster declaration, but none of the federal money covers cleanup expenses for homeowners.

Even so, a Moore County Disaster Assessment Team is taking damage estimates over the phone.

"If there is even a slight possibility that in the future there may be some reimbursement for uninsured losses, it certainly is worth our time and effort to begin documenting the tremendous losses that our citizens suffered," says Nancy Roy, director of planning.

"This was such an extraordinary event and everyone has been hit very hard and it's a lot of money." If you would like to report damage to Moore County's Damage Assessment Team, you can call during regular business hours: (910) 947-5010 or (910) 947-1206.

The team would like even people whose damage is covered by insurance to report it, so they can estimate the cost countywide.

Thursday found the couple in in great spirits with a warm, cozy living room and a freshly stocked refrigerator.

Evelyn says she has not put the blankets or gas cooking burner away yet, though, just in case. -->

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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