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Tree Service “Busy Signal” Frustrates Linn County Couple

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LINN COUNTY, Iowa — As Eastern Iowans continue to clean up the debris from Monday’s storms, many are getting frustrated trying to reach some of the most popular people in the area. That’s tree service operators who are getting slammed by calls from homeowners who want toppled trees out of yards and especially off homes.

David and Susan Cunningham who live north of Viola in Linn County have a special frustration. They want to start the process of getting their home repaired from the damage. But they can’t until someone with specialized equipment can remove two large trees from atop the house. David Cunningham said with trees down everywhere, he expected some problem getting service to rural Linn County. But not as much as he’s having.

“In some cases, their voice mail boxes are full or you just get a busy signal. You leave a message but they’re out cutting trees so there isn’t time to answer phones or call back. But it doesn’t help my situation any,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham said contractors won’t come out to even give him a repair estimate until the trees are out of the way. So he’s stuck until he finds someone who will come to do the work.

Frank Orr, owner of Frank’s Tree Service, said he can sympathize with Cunningham’s problem. But he says crews can only do so much following a big storm.

Orr said the first priority is trees on homes or uprooted trees that pose a danger to property or people. He’s also responding to existing customers first. He said the best advice for anyone needing a tree service is just to have some patience.

“You can only do this kind of work so long before you’re worn out. We’re trying to get to everybody. I wish I could wiggle my nose and help everybody. But it just won’t happen,” Orr said.

Orr suggests homeowners with critical needs be persistent and keep calling. The Cunninghams said they’re doing that. But they still need somebody to answer the call.

l Comments: (319) 368-8611;

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