Watch CBS News

Utility and tree service companies expecting mess after severe weather hits

Power companies preparing for storms in Pittsburgh area
Power companies preparing for storms in Pittsburgh area 02:12

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Utility companies are preparing to be busy with severe weather rolling into the Pittsburgh area on Thursday. 

Tree companies are expecting to be busy on Friday with the weather. The big thing you need to know is if the tree near your house is alive or dead because it could impact your insurance claims.

"Bad combination when the winds come in and the ground is loose. The tree is coming down," Greater Pitt Tree Service owner Carlos Mcclintock said.

It's a problem no one wants, but one we see year after year. Some measures you can take to help yourself include getting trees pruned so the wind can go over or through them. 

Then there are warning signs. Look and see if the tree has a cavity or loosened ground near it. If it's dead or dying, get it down. Companies said insurance won't cover the damage it leaves behind.

"They say it's neglect on you the homeowner that you didn't address it before it fell on the house," Mcclintock said.

Utility companies like West Penn Power and Duquesne Light are already preparing for outages. They will have crews tackling them as they roll in. You can report any outages you experience. 

The companies want customers to know that crews try to address outages impacting the most people first, and crews may swing by a downed wire near you and come back later to address it.

"It does no good to go after those smaller wires first. We need to go after the systems in an orderly way," West Penn Power and Penn Power spokesperson Todd Meyers said.

With wires, if you see anything down, just assume it is live. Stay 30 feet away from it and anything it is touching.

"They don't need to be skipping around or burning or sparking to be deadly," Meyers said.

For utility companies and tree companies, the wind will present a challenge for their work because it makes it unsafe to be in bucket trucks.

"We kind of navigate through all that to make sure our crews and our equipment stays safe," Mcclintock said.

If a tree harmlessly comes down on your property, it is still advised you have a professional look at it before cutting it. If you cut it in the wrong spot, it could spring back on you.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.