Tree cleanup underway in Aberdeen after heavy ice

After last week’s winter storm and heavy ice, tree branches are still down across the town of Aberdeen.
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 5:07 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - After last week’s winter storm and heavy ice, tree branches are still down across the town of Aberdeen.

Malerie Henschel was woken up early Thursday morning when ice brought down a tree in her front yard.

”I was sleeping, actually. It came down at about 5 o’clock in the morning. It was just a really loud bang and I woke up. I looked out the window and there was a tree in the yard,” said Henschel.

Henschel was relieved to see that, luckily, the tree just barely scraped her house and didn’t cause any damage.

”We could have probably had a hole in the roof or the bedroom windows taken out. It just would have been a really bad experience at 5 o’clock in the morning to have holes in the house,” said Henschel.

Since the tree is on the boulevard, the city will be cleaning it up. Those cleanup efforts started immediately on Thursday, but since it was a holiday weekend, the branches blocking roadways were the main priority.

As of Monday, crews began clearing the branches on boulevards. Larger trees, like the one in Henschel’s yard, can take much longer to clear.

”What slows us down is the stuff that hasn’t fallen, it’s just broken and hanging, or the stuff that has fallen into a yard. An entire tree falling into a yard is gonna really slow us up because it just takes more time to clean that up,” said Aberdeen City Forester Aaron Kiesz.

While the city has begun their cleanup, branches on private property are the responsibility of the homeowner.

“If it’s homeowner or private trees, they need to either hire a tree service or take that material to the landfill as we’re only picking up boulevard tree debris that has fallen off trees,” said Kiesz.

Kiesz expects the branches on the boulevards to take a week to clear, but branches hanging in trees that could be potentially dangerous should be reported right away.

”If it’s a branch that has fallen out of a tree and it’s laying on the boulevard, we’ll eventually get it, so we don’t need to be called. If it’s a hanging branch, then we would like to be called so that we can get to it sooner rather than later,” said Kiesz.

Residents of Aberdeen can report hanging tree branches or branches blocking roadways by calling 605-626-7015.