4 Important Tips Dealing With Tree Damage From Michigan Ice Storm
The Consumers Energy Outage Map looks like a patchwork quilt, identifying areas across Southern Michigan that are still dealing with power outages. Consumers report that the storm, which struck early February 22 and lasted through the night, brought nearly 8,000 power lines down, many from falling debris from trees, and in some cases, entire trees.
Kalamazoo County declared a State of Emergency due to the historic Ice Storm of ‘23, which left 40% of Kalamazoo County residences without power. The City of Kalamazoo issued a statement saying,
Available resources to fully respond and recover have been exhausted, which is causing significant strain on our community’s ability to respond safely during this time.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has four tips for dealing with tree damage from winter storms and ice.
- Keep it safe. Be aware of downed power lines and stay at least 25 feet away from a downed line. Also, be sure to be aware of power lines that may be touching a damaged tree.
- Delay tree work and clean up if possible. If trees are weighed down or broken, it’s best to delay work until conditions improve.
- Hire a professional. Arborists are tree experts trained to evaluate the damage. Hanging limbs, working with a chainsaw, or climbing a damaged tree is dangerous work.
- Consult your insurance policies. Your homeowner's policy may cover damage from falling trees or branches. Be sure to take photos or video of the damage and notify your agent before any work or repairs are started.
Local tree services will be booked solid, but the wait is worth your well-being. Also, be aware of the scam artists that may show up at your door. After a bad storm, these vultures will be knocking on neighborhood doors. Don’t pay upfront and it’s best to hire a local, reputable business. You can look online for reviews of their work.