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West Michigan preparing for potential heavy winds

Posted: 4:26 PM, Feb 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-22 17:40:10-05

WEST MICHIGAN — As West Michigan braces for strong winds this weekend, tree cutters are preparing for what might be a busy week ahead.

Meantime, workers contracted by the City of Grand Rapids finished picking up what’s left from ice and freezing rain earlier this month. While the city’s state of emergency allowed property owners to place their branches at the curb for free pick up these last few weeks, city officials say that’s ending Friday.

Property owners will be responsible for any debris that may fall Sunday.

Scott Van Wyk, an arborist with Bartlett Tree Experts helps Calvin College stay ready year-round in the same way he helps homeowners.

“We’re very proactive about preventing or working to prevent storm damage – pruning and cabling,” he said.

While it might be tempting to get rid of those dangling branches or unstable trees at your home, Van Wyk has a warning.

“There’s a right way and a wrong way to do that in terms of personal safety, but also in terms of the way the tree is treated. The way the cut is made is important,” he explained.

So Van Wyk said it’s best left to the professionals, and if you can’t get someone out to clear branches before the storm he said you should do a survey of the damage afterward.

“If they see broken limbs up high in the tree then they’ll want to make sure that they don’t walk under the tree, take pets or children under the tree until that situation is resolved,” he explained.

Insurance companies recommend you place objects like garbage cans, grills, and patio furniture in your home or garage.

Consumers Energy said if you have trees near your power lines and have concern you can call them at 1-800-477-5050.