Anamosa Still Struggling with Tree Debris Nearly a Month After Storm

By Dave Franzman

ANAMOSA, Iowa- For some in Eastern Iowa, the damaging June 30th wind storm is now just a fading memory. But that’s not true in Anamosa as both residents and the city are still looking at a remaining mess of debris, limbs and uprooted tree trunks.

Alan Johnson, city administrator, said city crews cleaned up a lot of the limbs and debris that lined the streets weeks ago. That’s not really the problem now. The problem is the uprooted large trunks and damaged and dangerous trees that remain standing nearly a month later.

Johnson said like homeowners, the city has to wait in line for professional tree services to finish other jobs first before they can tackle what remains along Anamosa city streets.

“We hope within the next week, maybe two weeks to make progress. I’ve got a tree service coming in today (Friday) to take a look at some of the most severely-damaged trees to see how soon they could get to them,” Johnson said.

The city administrator says unlike some larger communities, Anamosa city workers don’t have the specialized skills or equipment to handle the trickiest tree removal jobs. That’s why they have to wait for the professional services.

The city probably lost 400 trees on public property in that late June storm. At least 30 trees still standing on the right of way areas are considered dangerous due to damage. Some are leaning or partially uprooted. The administrator said they need to come down soon.

Johnson said some residents have complained the city isn’t moving fast enough. Others recognize the size of the problem.

One resident, Joe Payton, is just tired of looking at a huge uprooted tree in his front yard.

“They are a hazard,” Payton said adding “especially the sidewalks now. The sidewalks are so buckled they’ll have to be replaced.”

Johnson said the city of Anamosa usually budgets about $20,000 a year for removing dead trees from public areas. The bill, so far, from that one wind storm is $467,000 and still counting.

l Comments: (319) 368-8611; dave.franzman@sourcemedia.net

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