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Tree work companies slammed after severe weather, power outages

Posted at 6:22 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 19:24:30-04

CASCADE, Mich. — Power is being restored as fast as possible to the roughly more than 100,000 Consumers Energy customers who lost electricity after a particularly powerful string of storms hit West Michigan.

Those storms brought down power lines and trees.

One tree fell on a home in Cascade, and took the power with it. The family has since gotten their power back. But removing the 100-year-old oak tree in the backyard is another challenge.

“It’s really dangerous. A lot of things can go wrong,” robotic crane operator for Timber Ridge Tree Care Steven Moore said.

Not all tree work can be done with a chainsaw and your own two hands.

"If you put it on the wrong side, if the weight’s leaning to one side in one direction, you might not be able to get it to go,” Moore said.

A simple miscalculation could send the tree in the opposite direction you want.

“It’s extremely important. You go home and try to cut it down yourself, you could kill yourself, or destroy your home," Moore said.

There's a reason tree climbers get paid big money to chop down dead limbs. It's risky and skilled labor. Moore and his crew spent four days at a home in Cascade removing a tree, which had to be suspended in mid-air and carried over the home to be taken out.

Crane operator Steven Moore says they often come back and help finish jobs people think they can do on their own. They're happy to help, but are hopeful by warning people they could take on a bigger job than they anticipate, they can prevent unnecessary damage.

"Everyone wants to get 'em done, but sometimes it’s best to call someone,” Moore said.

Consumers Energy says the reason for this outage being so bad comes down to a combination of things: widespread damage, multiple rounds of storms, and an increase in severe weather incidents. They hope to have the power restored to everyone by the end of this weekend.

RELATED: City of Sturgis declares state of emergency, cites 'substantial' storm damage

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