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Grand Forks property owners must pick up their own fallen branches, brush

Part of an evergreen tree toppled over on Jane Schjeldahl's property during Sunday morning's storm. (Sydney Mook / Grand Forks Herald)

Along certain neighborhood roads, it's hard to see some houses over the high piles of branches and brush stacked at the end of each driveway in the wake of Sunday morning's storm.

For anyone waiting on the city of Grand Forks to take these piles, city Public Information Specialist John Bernstrom has some bad news.

Unless the tree fell from the berm or is blocking traffic, Grand Forks property owners are responsible for picking up their own branches. Bernstrom said the city wants to make it as easy as possible for property owners, so they're providing more than one option. Citizens can leave trees at the Public Works Facility, near the water tower on DeMers at Williamson Field and, from now until Wednesday, for free at the Grand Forks landfill.

"The crews have been working pretty much since the storm hit," Bernstrom said, citing Public Works and Parks District employees. Parks District executive director Bill Palmiscno said eight employees on the Parks District have been at work since 8 a.m. Sunday, using equipment from the city.

For anyone with berm trees the Parks District can take, Palmiscno said they should call so he can add them to his list. "The first thing that they did is take berm trees that fell on houses," Palmiscno said of the Parks District crew.

The area most affected by fallen berm trees, according to Palmiscno, is a stretch of roads by the central fire station. Apollo Park on 17th Ave. S. took the worst damage of all the parks in the city, losing 10 trees. University and Lincoln parks also lost trees.

Cleanup efforts on behalf of the city will likely take several weeks, Bernstrom said. "It's nothing that will be done by the end of the week."

Palmiscno said the same of Park District cleanup. Once fallen berm trees are cleared, Palmiscno said employees will spend another two-to-three months removing damaged trees that are still standing.

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