High winds topple trees killed in drought

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by Drew Karedes / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on December 25, 2012 at 11:47 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 26 at 12:00 AM

HARRIS COUNTY -- KHOU 11 News’ camera was rolling as another tree came crashing down on the same stretch of road where a man was killed early Christmas morning.

Officials said falling trees created road closures through nightfall.

“Now we have to turn around and go back in the other direction to get where we’re going,” said Sue Carter, a resident trying to drive through town.

Many of tall pine trees here along Eldridge Parkway and the surrounding area are the casualties of last summer’s drought.

“I’m thinking we’ve got a lot of big problems to take care of including the trees,” said Linda Wells, a resident. “I don’t know where that’s going to come out on the priority scale.”

The danger proved all too real when a young man tried removing a tree that had plunged down onto the road. A second tree fell on top of him and ended his life.

What’s going to be done to fix this problem is unclear right now.

But tree expert Kevin McKean says it’s likely going to be expensive.

“The problem is it costs a lot of money to get these trees done. With the economy the way it is, people don’t have the money to get the trees done,” said Kevin McKean, of Kevin’s Tree Service.

McKean says if you have a dead tree on your property, you have about six months before it becomes a real hazard.

Brown pine needles and bark that peels off are ways you can tell if a tree is ready to go.

“You have a full size tree that tree is 6,500 pounds and when the top breaks off, it’s going to produce a tremendous amount of force,” said Kevin McKean. “I’ve seen them punch completely through two-story houses and hit the concrete slab on the ground floor.”

And based on what they’re now seeing, neighbors fear that something could happen to them.

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