UTAH

Storm clean up efforts from wind damage is bringing communities together

Sep 9, 2020, 6:27 PM
(Centerville residents dropping off timber at a collection point.  Credit: Paul Nelson)...
(Centerville residents dropping off timber at a collection point. Credit: Paul Nelson)
(Centerville residents dropping off timber at a collection point. Credit: Paul Nelson)

CENTERVILLE – Storm clean up efforts in Davis, Weber and Cache counties are still underway.  Entire communities are coming together to help clean up the trees that were knocked down by hurricane-force winds. 

Large piles of branches, limbs and tree trunks are lined up all along the streets of cities like Centerville, Farmington and Logan.  On Main Street in Centerville, you can see people chopping up what remains of a large tree that had been on Lynn Sessions’ property for decades.

(A 45 year-old tree being sectioned out to be hauled away on Lynn Sessions’ property. Credit: Paul Nelson)

He says, “My wife counted 45 rings in it, I think.”

He’s happy the tree didn’t destroy his fence when it fell.  A branch six inches in diameter caught most of the tree’s weight, preventing it from crushing anything else.  However, it did cut off the access to a house right behind his property.

“The next door neighbor, he came over yesterday and cut it all out of the roadway.  There’s a house in the rear and he cut all that so they can get to their house and get to the street,” Sessions says.

Nearby, branches and trunks by the truckload are being dropped off at a collection point in a parking lot for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Centerville officials have arranged to haul the wood to a landfill, so people like Robert Libby are hitching their trailers to their trucks and dropping off as much wood as they can.

(Some of the trees being piled up at church parking lot in Centerville. Credit: Paul Nelson)

It has been a daunting, tiring task, but the community came together to help clear out his property, and he felt he needed to return the favor.

Libby says, “It’s amazing.  I didn’t know there were that many trees.”

One row of parking spots was completely covered with wooden debris, reaching heights taller than the trucks that delivered it. 

“After just the little spot of a neighborhood we’ve [cleared] it doesn’t surprise me, at all.  We have to come back over and over, come back and unload.  It’s crazy,” Libby says.

However, there are already long lines at landfills filled with people trying to unload their green waste.  Davis Landfill Executive Director Nathan Rich isn’t sure how much debris he should expect.  In 2011, they took in 20 thousand more tons of waste due to strong winds knocking down trees, but the damage from this storm seems to be more widespread. 

Rich says, “We can handle the material.  We just can’t handle it all at once.”

The landfill is waiving their normal green waste collection fees for county residents for the next two weeks.  He hopes this will convince people to spread out their visits.

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Storm clean up efforts from wind damage is bringing communities together