Tree cleanup continues more than a week after storm

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – More than a week after winds that reached up to 70 miles per hour tore through Albuquerque, tree cleanup is still happening. While a lot is already cleaned up since last Tuesday, the city and private tree care companies say there’s still more work to do.

“We’re still taking down trees that have fallen. So, like tomorrow, we have jobs that I got to take down, remove some trees that are on houses, that are still on houses right now,” Robert Graham, owner of TreePros LLC, said.

“Last week after the storm the phone was just ringing off the hook,” Bonnie Quan, co-owner of Eric’s Tree Care, said. “The calls are still coming in…it has made us a little extra busy. Yesterday, I had the crew out a little later than usual, until about 5:30 or so. So, we’ve definitely been working a little harder.”

The city’s Park and Recreation Department is also in its second week of tree cleanup. It estimates the storm took down about 30 major trees across 14 parks. It also had to take down about 7-10 trees that were leaning after the storm and considered dangerous.

“The work now is going to start shifting more to trees like this one behind us where they’ll have to cut it into small pieces and do the cleanup. The last thing we will focus on is the piles of branches…just from a public safety perspective, those are the lowest priority,” Joran Viers, Albuquerque City Forester, said.

Viers said crews have been working overtime and he expects the work will still continue into next week as well. In the meantime, Viers recommends people avoid sitting under large trees since they may have loose branches ready to come down.

“It’s really hard to read sometimes, from the ground, what’s going on up in the branches and inside the branches in the wood. So, you know, give us a couple of strong winds, not the same, and that’ll make it a little more predictable,” Viers said.

The city’s Solid Waste Department, which takes care of trees on sidewalks and medians, said it finished most of its cleanup work on Monday. It estimated chopping and hauling away up to 20 trees that fell due to the storm.

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