Katrina Networking

I am using my networking and marketing skills to pass along vital information to organizations, volunteers and survivors of the 2005 hurricane season. Grants, networking, advocating, assistance resources, articles and more. Updated regularly to better assist you.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Tree Removal Service Needed

In Mississippi's towns and cities alone - never mind the 1.2 million acres of damaged forestland - some 2 million trees didn't survive.

We are looking for several tree removal companies/crews for tree removalwork throughout LA. These are immediate OPENINGS. Typically, jobs pay upwards to $30,000+ . Your crew should consist of 3-5 people. You MUST have your OWN equipment! Preference will be given to individuals with multiplecrews/equipment. You must be qualified and PROFESSIONAL with prior tree removal experience! (No startup companies).
For additional information, please call 251-767-0505.

10/21 From Dick Brown of Hancock County Project Recovery
Trees must be standing, 12" in diameter, in an area that was flooded, and pose a danger to a structure or road. Contact your city or county and they will send someone out to assess the situation.
Dick Brown
Project Recovery
Hancock County

Dead trees will be falling here for years - Insurance may also hit homeowners
In the forests and yards of South Mississippi, dead trees manhandled by Katrina still stand, naked limbs and decaying trunks waiting to put homeowner-insurance premiums into a skyward climb.
"Some of the dead pine trees are already coming down with the thunderstorms you are having there, but some may stay up for five years as they slowly decompose and then fall," said the forestry commission's Jimmy Mordica. "You could probably spend $10 million just taking down dead trees on the Coast because there's so many of them."
Local insurance companies have not been taking claims on dead trees falling on houses yet, but they expect it to happen.
Lance Wedgeworth with Mississippi Farm Bureau Insurance said both getting the tree off the house and repairing the damage are covered in a typical policy.
The possible insurance nightmare is not confined to homeowners, however. Cities also have a problem and a potential liability issue.
The Mississippi Forestry Commission will pipe federal money to municipalities to take down trees on both public and private property, where public property is within falling distance of dead, standing trees. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is also supplying money to cities so they can mitigate the potential dangers of falling trees.
"There are lots of hazard trees that may have not been taken down during the debris-removal process," said Donna Yowell, the director of the Mississippi Urban Forestry Council.
Pass Christian's Mayor Chip McDermott said homeowners who did not sign right-of-entry forms and let debris removal contractors pull their dead trees down are now on their own.
McDermott will be using MEMA money to pull down 500 standing dead trees in the city's rights of way before they become a hazard to residents.
Marcellus Andrews, an economist with the Insurance Information Institute, said homeowner-insurance rates are determined by a formula based on two factors- actual past losses and companies' reasonable projections of future losses. He said state tax commissions regulate the relative weight of each of those factors.
Though Andrews said the number of weak or dead trees around a homeowner's house will change the premium on a new policy, John Wells, the director of rating at Mississippi's Insurance Department, said the standard practice for current policies in Mississippi involved incentives for not filing damage claims.
After the premium is determined, Wells said many companies use a credit and debit equation for lowering or raising rates based on the number of claims a homeowner makes. The result is an incentive program for homeowners to eliminate claims.
As an example, he said State Farm offers a 5 percent discount on premiums if the policyholder does not file a claim in two years. That discount goes up to 20 percent if the policy holder does not file a claim in nine years.
On the other hand, the first claim raises premiums by 15 percent in the year after it is filed. A homeowner will still see a premium that is 5 percent higher six to eight years later.
However it works on individual policies, Yowell and Wedgeworth advised homeowners to be proactive to avoid dealing with tree-inflicted damage and the associated paperwork. They recommended homeowners get a licensed arborist to tell them what trees should be removed. They should then have the work done by an insured tree-removal service.

FEMA's Position Changes - hopefully for all of Gulf Coast:

FEMA will pay to cut dead trees
Policy change affects New Orleans land
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
By Michelle Krupa
Thousands of trees that died in Hurricane Katrina but remain standing will be removed from New Orleans parkways, playgrounds and other green spaces by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has agreed to pay 100 percent of the cost after refusing for the past year to finance the job.
City officials lauded the policy reversal as a critical step toward the recovery of the city's battered tree canopy. It will result in the extraction of at least 2,000 trees that are dead but still standing on city property, posing a danger to nearby residents and buildings or otherwise hindering quality of life. Also removed will be dead trees on state property within city limits, including those in City Park and along state highways.
FEMA officials would not explain Monday why they changed their policy, which called for the Army Corps of Engineers to remove trees felled by the storm, but to leave behind dead trees that remained standing. The task was part of the corps' assignment to collect storm debris on public property at no cost to local government.
"It's in the interest of public health and safety that we fund the disposal of trees killed on the public right of way by saltwater flooding," said Jim Stark, director of FEMA's Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office. "We are pleased to be working with our city partners, to facilitate the best use of FEMA public assistance funds in order to help New Orleans in its recovery."
Keith Bleichner, the city's chief landscape architect, said New Orleans officials were always convinced that federal relief money should pay for the removal of all dead trees. But he said that faced with an unprecedented number of standing dead trees left after Katrina, FEMA "relied on a narrow interpretation of criteria to rule that the trees were not eligible."
"Changing their thinking was not easy," Bleichner wrote in an e-mail Monday.
The city argued that under its own guidelines, FEMA would be expected to pay for removal of debris that poses "a threat to public safety or that which will become a threat within five years," Bleichner said. He said the city maintained that as root systems deteriorate further, standing dead trees would become increasingly dangerous to people and nearby structures.
"Letters that we obtained from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the United States Forest Service reinforced our contention that these trees were hazards," he wrote.
Bleichner did not have an estimate of the cost of the work, but said the corps has already bid the project.
It will not include the cost of stump removal, the restoration of turf on neutral grounds, parks and golf courses, or the planting of replacement trees.
Katrina killed an estimated 50,000 trees in New Orleans, include those that fell, were left leaning or lost most of their major limbs, Bleichner said.
Much of that debris was disposed of during street clearing operations immediately after the storm.

Posted on Fri, Jul. 14,
Standing dead trees are a danger

HANCOCK COUNTY - Katrina's wicked winds didn't snap them in half or knock them to the ground. Instead, thousands of massive pine trees here were left to die a slow death from saltwater. First they turn brown, and later their limbs fall off. Soon what's left of the trees will come tumbling down and where they will land is anyone's guess. County officials are pleading for help and they need it fast. Each day, dozens of dead trees topple with freight-train force, jeopardizing houses, power lines and motorists, and even children who spend summer days playing in the woods.
Carolyn Hollister and her husband, Paul, were keeping a close eye on two mammoth pines barely standing nextto their Waveland home that was being restored."
They were huge and they were dead," she said. "They would have fallen on the house."
A volunteer group from California helped cut down the trees. Otherwise, it would have cost the Hollisters about $1,000 to have them removed."
A lot of homeowners don't have the money to remove them, especially now," said Rocky Pullman, president of the Hancock Board of Supervisors.
County leaders have asked FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps ofEngineers and the state Forestry Commission for help, but with no luck. This week they turned to the state Emergency Management Agency and Gov. Haley Barbour to figure a way to chop down the rotting timber. The federal government will likely cover the cost of removing dead trees from public rights of way. But local leaders are far more nervous about the trees that threaten human life.
"There's a big concern for the safety of the general public," Pullman said. "A lot of them are close to houses or next to FEMA trailers and some are on private property next to roadways."
Mike Womack, MEMA's interim director, said he has met with FEMA and the two agencies are hammering out details of a plan to remove the trees, but no deal has been made.
Meanwhile, the Hollisters are anxiously waiting to see where two other pines - leaning near their backyard -will fall, before they complete their home renovations.

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Blogger Tree Removal Atlanta GA said...

Nice information on the blog. Removing large trees is a mammoth process and only experienced arborists who are completely insured to perform this task. We need to take all necessary precautions while removing trees so that nearby buildings, electric wire and other obstacles are not damaged.

17 February, 2010 08:56  

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