Phones ringing off hook for tree removal businesses

Published: Nov 01 2011 04:11:27 PM EDT   Updated On: Nov 02 2011 05:50:09 AM EDT
WYOMISSING, Pa. -

The primary offender when it comes to all of the power outages in our region are the countless trees and branches brought down by the weekend winter storm. 

In Wyomissing, Berks County, streets were littered with limbs Tuesday.  In some spots, there was so much tree debris on the ground, one couldn't see the grass or sidewalk.

"It's been overwhelming, to say the least," said Bob Plank, Plank Tree Service.

Plank said his crews were still working on trees damaged by Hurricane Irene when the latest storm made their list of pending jobs much longer.

"Well over a hundred," said Plank, referring to the calls he got after the October snowfall.  "And that's just so far."

Plank's crew was one of three teams working within one block in Wyomissing on Tuesday.

No one was worried about the competition.  There was plenty of work to go around.

"It's too much at one time," Plank said.  

Some trees had yet to be touched Tuesday.  Three large trees were still lying across Crusher Road in Union Township.

Not far away, Center Road in Union Township disappeared into a leafy wall.

A spokesperson for Met-Ed told 69 News the downed trees slowed efforts to restore power.

Route 625 in Cumru Township was one of more than a dozen state roads still shut down Tuesday.

A Met-Ed contract crew from Ohio was working to restore power to the line along 625, but they said there were still more obstacles further down the road.

"This is one of those storms of epic proportions," said Allen Heilner, owner of Heilner Landscaping.

Heilner said his phone hasn't stopped ringing since Saturday's storm, but even with so many jobs, there's an obvious hierarchy.

"If the tree isn't on your house, we're putting it on the back burner," Heilner said.