Tree removal and storm response efforts continue in Minneapolis

 

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and City of Minneapolis continue removing hundreds of trees and reopening city streets following Friday night’s storm. A wood recycling site will be open Monday and curbside tree debris collection is planned for July 1-12 to help folks get rid of tree debris from their yards.

 

If there’s storm damage in your neighborhood, or if your area doesn’t have power, please check in with your neighbors and help them stay safe, especially if they are elderly or may need assistance.

 

Downed power lines
 

Residents should stay away from downed power lines and report their location to Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-4999. All downed power lines, even if they’re not moving or sparking, are dangerous and should never be approached. To report an outage, or to receive outage information or restoration estimates, customers are asked to call Xcel Energy’s outage line at 1-800-895-1999.
 

Traffic signals
 

Traffic signals are out in areas without power. It’s important for drivers to remember that if the signal at an intersection is not working, treat the intersection as a four-way stop.

 

Tree removal and reopening of streets
 

Park Board and City crews continue removing trees to reopen streets. Major streets are a primary focus, followed by secondary streets. Trees that have power lines entangled in them will be removed after Xcel removes the power lines. The clearing of streets is the top priority and crews will continue to work through the weekend and as long as necessary until all streets are open.

After city streets are clear, the Park Board’s second priority for tree removal is the removal of boulevard trees from homes, garages and other structures. The Park Board’s third tree priority is to evaluate and remove boulevard trees that pose a potential hazard of toppling due to storm damage or soil saturation. The Park Board’s fourth priority is removal of trees and tree debris from parks.  

To report a tree blocking a sidewalk or street, or a boulevard tree down on private property, contact the Park Board Forestry Department at 612-313-7710 or forestry@minneapolisparks.org until 7 p.m. today or from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. weekdays.   

Tree debris drop-off

Minneapolis residents may bring yard tree debris to the Metro Wood Recycling Site at 33rd Ave and 2nd Street in north Minneapolis from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to Noon on Saturday, from June 24 through June 29.  This service is for property owners clearing their property of tree debris after storm damage only—it is not for contractors doing work for property owners or for regular tree pruning.  It is only for tree debris, not construction or other materials.

Regular yard waste collection for smaller branches

Residents with small branches and pieces of brush can use the regular weekly Solid Waste & Recycling yard waste collection service to have them picked up. Crews will pick up bundles of brush and small branches that are less than three inches in diameter and less than three feet long. Here's how to get them ready for pickup:

·         Bundle them securely with twine or rope. Do not use wire.

·         Each bundle must be less than 3 feet long.

·         Each bundle must weigh less than 40 pounds.

Make sure to have the bundles of yard waste at your alley or curb line, next to the garbage cart, by 6 a.m. on your garbage day.

Tree debris collection

Park Board crews will collect tree debris that can be brought to the boulevard beginning July 1 through July 12 for properties affected by the storm. This service is for property owners clearing their property of tree debris after storm damage only—it is not for contractors doing work for property owners or for regular tree pruning.  It is only for tree debris, not construction or other materials.

Here's how residents in the area can prepare downed trees and branches for collection:

·         Move larger limbs, branches, and trunks to the boulevard area in front of your house. Park Board crews will pick up and dispose of these items at no charge.

·         Property owners adjacent to tree debris placed on the boulevard are asked not to park vehicles near the debris, to help crews in the removal process. “No parking” signs may be posted and enforced to facilitate the cleanup operation.

Tree contractors

Since there are so many downed trees in yards throughout the city, many residents will be looking for a contractor to take care of the problem. It’s important to make sure the tree company you use is licensed, because unlicensed companies may not be insured for damage they might cause to your property, and their workers may not be properly trained to protect themselves and your property from damage. Here are some things residents should know when choosing a tree company:

·         To find out if a tree service contractor is licensed in Minneapolis, look at this list on the City’s website.

·         A licensed contractor must submit a copy of a written estimate to the property owner for approval prior to any work to be performed.

·         Licensed Tree Service contractors have marked vehicles and display a City of Minneapolis license decal.

·         Licensed Tree Service contractors maintain insurance in the event of damage to your property, your neighbors’ property, or if anyone is injured on the job site.

Park Facilities

The Park Board’s primary focus is the safety of residents, clearing streets and removing downed boulevard trees. A number of the Park Board’s 47 recreation centers are without power and are closed. Columbia and Hiawatha golf courses are currently closed; all other courses are open with some limited access.  A number of park amenities such as fishing docks and trails have been impacted. More detailed updates on parks, recreation centers, and other amenities will be available later this afternoon. Visit www.minneapolisparks.org for updated information in the “News and Events” section and/or subscribe to get weather-related emails by clicking on the red envelope icon at www.minneapolisparks.org, submitting your email address and selecting the “Weather” topic.

 

Published Jun 23, 2013