Storms stretch arborists thin

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(Host) Central Vermont Public Service customers who lost their power after Saturday’s violent thunderstorms finally got their electricity restored at one o’clock this morning.

This weekend’s wind storms were the latest in a string that has created lots of overtime for utility line workers.

As VPR’s Nina Keck reports, local arborists have been stretched thin as well.

(Keck) Pat Bowman works for Trees Incorporated – a Rutland based company that touts its 24-hour-tree removal service. Most weeks she says they handle anywhere from 25 to 50 calls.

She said with people once again cleaning up after a storm, the phone has been ringing off the hook since yesterday morning.

(Bowman) "Well we’ve been quite busy. This morning when I came in there were about 25 calls from our answering service and since that time, I’ve put maybe 75 service calls through."
(Keck) "And I can hear the phone now."
(Bowman) "Yes, it is nonstop."

(Keck) Michael Fallis – president of Limbewalker Tree Service in Castleton has been an arborist for 15 years. He says it took his crews two months to handle all the work from April’s nor’easter. Since then, he says business has been up 25%.

(Fallis) "The other day we were out and we were working at one residence and another tree company was at the neighbors and a third at the neighbors of that person. We’ve been pretty flat out all summer long."

(Keck) While he and other arborists say the extra work has been welcome, he says it’s been sad to see so many beautiful, old trees come down.

For VPR news, I’m Nina Keck in Rutland.

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