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Hurricanes
Hurricane Irma damage: What to do about fallen trees and how to stop the danger
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Hurricane Irma damage: What to do about fallen trees and how to stop the danger

How To Apply For Disaster Aid

Hurricane Irma damage: What to do about fallen trees and how to stop the danger

Hurricane Irma, once a Category 5 monster with record-breaking 185-mph winds, weakened to a tropical storm as it plowed through parts of the Southeast after leaving Florida on Monday.

>> Read more trending news

The storm killed more than 40 people in the Caribbean and Florida, and at least three people were killed in Georgia, two crushed by falling trees.

Millions of people were left in the dark, as the storm toppled trees and power lines across parts of the Southeast.

If you’re experiencing tree damage following the tropical storm, here are expert tips on tree safety, removal and more: 

>> Related: Of your neighbor’s tree falls in your yard, who pays for it?

Signs of tree danger

  • Dead branches or branches barely hanging by a thread
  • Insect infestations
  • Hollowing inside the tree
  • Leaking sap
  • Cracks in the lower trunk or large stems split from the tree
  • Severed or broken roots
  • Noticeable tree lean after a storm

>> Related: Hurricane Irma damage: What to do before, during and after a flood

What to do if a tree falls on your property and who to call for help

Do not attempt to self-clean.

According to Ryan Smith of Monster Tree Service, this is one of the most dangerous mistakes people make after a tree causes damage on their property.

“So many people get hurt after a storm because they get on the roof to try and fix the damage themselves and slip and fall,” he said. “Our experts won’t even do that without the proper equipment.”

Stay away from the damaged areas.

If you walk on compromised areas, such as near downed power lines, the repercussions could be quite dangerous, Smith said.

AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images
A downed tree blocks the roadway after high winds from Hurricane Irma knocked it over in Coconut Grove, Florida,  on September 11, 2017. 
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Fallen Trees

Photo Credit: AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images
A downed tree blocks the roadway after high winds from Hurricane Irma knocked it over in Coconut Grove, Florida,  on September 11, 2017. 

Immediately call a tree removal service, but avoid getting scammed.

You want to find a tree removal company that not only carries insurance, but specifically includes workers’ compensation.

This is because the biggest risk during tree removal is someone getting damaged on property, Smith said.

When calling the company, ask for certificates and proof of liability insurance and workers’ compensation.

>> Related: Photos: Hurricane Irma damage in Florida Keys

Remember to look out for any unsolicited offers and too-good-to-be-true bargains. It’s always best to double check references and read reviews.

Be sure to sign a written agreement before the work, and unless it’s just a small deposit, there’s no reason to pay up front.

Read more here.


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  • Venting his frustration in a series of tweets on Sunday, President Donald Trump again demanded to know how the Justice Department, FBI, and Obama Administration handled questions of Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying he would request a new review specifically to see if an investigation was opened for ‘political purposes’ involving his campaign. “I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!” the President said. It was one of a number of tweets where Mr. Trump flashed aggravation with the investigation into questions of Russian interference in the 2016 elections this weekend, as he repeated his charge that the feds had gone easy on Hillary Clinton and Democrats, while focusing investigative resources on his own campaign. I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 Things are really getting ridiculous. The Failing and Crooked (but not as Crooked as Hillary Clinton) @nytimes has done a long & boring story indicating that the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt has found nothing on Russia & me so now they are looking at the rest of the World! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 ….At what point does this soon to be $20,000,000 Witch Hunt, composed of 13 Angry and Heavily Conflicted Democrats and two people who have worked for Obama for 8 years, STOP! They have found no Collussion with Russia, No Obstruction, but they aren’t looking at the corruption… — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 …in the Hillary Clinton Campaign where she deleted 33,000 Emails, got $145,000,000 while Secretary of State, paid McCabes wife $700,000 (and got off the FBI hook along with Terry M) and so much more. Republicans and real Americans should start getting tough on this Scam. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 Now that the Witch Hunt has given up on Russia and is looking at the rest of the World, they should easily be able to take it into the Mid-Term Elections where they can put some hurt on the Republican Party. Don’t worry about Dems FISA Abuse, missing Emails or Fraudulent Dossier! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 What ever happened to the Server, at the center of so much Corruption, that the Democratic National Committee REFUSED to hand over to the hard charging (except in the case of Democrats) FBI? They broke into homes & offices early in the morning, but were afraid to take the Server? — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 ….and why hasn’t the Podesta brother been charged and arrested, like others, after being forced to close down his very large and successful firm? Is it because he is a VERY well connected Democrat working in the Swamp of Washington, D.C.? — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 The Witch Hunt finds no Collusion with Russia – so now they’re looking at the rest of the World. Oh’ great! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 What seemingly set off Mr. Trump on Sunday was a report in the New York Times, which said Donald Trump Jr. had held a meeting at Trump Tower in the months before the elections, to hear an offer of help from emissaries of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “The Witch Hunt finds no Collusion with Russia – so now they’re looking at the rest of the World,” the President tweeted. The President’s call for a review of how the FBI handled questions about Russian interference is already the subject of a review inside the Justice Department – it wasn’t clear how this request would be dealt with by officials. “There are rules,” said Carrie Cordero, a former Justice Department national security lawyer, who is now a professor at Georgetown University Law School. The Department of Justice doesn't open investigations for political puposes, which is what the president says today he will order tomorrow. There are rules. And I'm convinced there are people left in this government who will follow them. — Carrie Cordero (@carriecordero) May 20, 2018 In Congress, Democrats saw the President’s tweets as a signal of one thing – that he’s worried about what investigators are finding out about the 2016 probe, as they raised questions of whether the President is trying to exert political pressure on the Justice Department. “The President has sent 8 tweets in 5 hours on Hillary and the Mueller investigation,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA). “He is unhinged.” I would like a lawyer to explain to me why that last tweet from POTUS is not a big deal, because it seems like maybe it’s a pretty big deal. — Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) May 20, 2018 “A President who has nothing to hide would not have done another series of tweets this Sunday Morning smearing the DOJ investigation,” said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA).
  • We have updated information regarding a strong storm in Fairfax Saturday afternoon. National Weather Service Meteorologist Sarah Corfidi says they are looking into whether a tornado touched down. “We did receive reports that there was a tornado in that area,” Corfidi said.  “More than likely, someone from the National Weather Service team will go out on Sunday and look for damage and see where the damage was.  See if it’s consistent with a tornado or strong line winds.” The fast, strong storm that swept through Fairfax did leave damage in its path. One resident reacted to seeing a semi turned over by the strong winds. “Man, I’m just, wow!” She said.  “I couldn’t believe it.  I was just like, wow!” There have been no reports of any serious injuries. We do know a fence at a baseball diamond was heavily damaged and drivers had to dodge several fallen tree limbs.
  • The sunglasses can remain at home if you have outdoor plans for today.   There is a chance for thunderstorms during the morning hours.  National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Lacy says we’ll see plenty of clouds from there.  “Highs only around 80 or so,” Lacy said.  “We’ll see more clouds around.” The low Sunday night will be close to 62 degrees. Don’t put away your umbrella to start the week.  In fact, NWS is reporting a chance of thunderstorms for the next several days.   
  • We have updated information regarding a 39-year-old woman accused of abducting her daughter after stabbing an 11-year-old child. Tulsa County court records show Taheerah Admad has now been charged with assault and battery with intent to kill, first-degree arson and two counts of child neglect. An Amber Alert was issued following the abduction. She was eventually spotted by members of the public and tracked down in a downtown parking lot. Original:  Tulsa police on Tuesday arrested a woman who they say bound and gagged her three daughters, stabbed the eldest repeatedly and set their house on fire. Police said a patrol officer found 39-year-old Taheerah Ahmad around midday in a vehicle in downtown Tulsa. Ahmad was taken into custody and her 7-year-old daughter who had been reported missing was found safe, police said. Investigators said that following her arrest, Ahmad told them she became upset after observing two of her children reading a book. It was not immediately known what book they were reading, police said. Ahmad was booked into the Tulsa County Jail on complaints of assault and battery with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, child abuse and first-degree arson. Tulsa police officer Jeanne MacKenzie said earlier that the 7-year-old girl helped her 9-year-old sister escape Monday night, and the 9-year-old ran to a nearby house for help. MacKenzie told the Tulsa World that when authorities arrived, they found an 11-year-old girl with so many stab wounds that emergency responders 'couldn't even count them.' The house was on fire, and Ahmad and the youngest girl were missing. The middle child told police that their mother placed socks in their mouths, bound their hands with duct tape and began stabbing the eldest child, MacKenzie said. The 11-year-old remained hospitalized Tuesday and police said she was unconscious and that her condition was 'very severe.
  • If you're headed out to one of the many events in Tulsa today, the forecast shouldn't be an issue. However, National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Lacy says conditions could change Saturday night. “I would say most of the day will be fairly hot and sunny,” Lacy said.  “We’ll have an increase in the possibility of storms Saturday night.” The high today will be close to 92 degrees. As of early this morning, there is 30 percent of thunderstorms Saturday night.  The low will be around 67 degrees.     Temperatures will cool down on Sunday.  NWS is reporting a high near 85 degrees.