Ice, Ice, Baby…


The trucks are full of fuel. The crews are prepped for long hours of cold and wet work. Saws and chippers are sharpened and ready. Now all we have to do is wait.

It has been ten years since we have had a major ice event in Columbia. If weather forecasts are accurate, the Columbia area can expect significant amounts of snow and ice over the next 48 hours. We are ready for whatever may occur. In fact, some of our guys from north of the Mason-Dixon line are almost giddy.

In the rare instances when we do have a major snow or ice storm in the Columbia area, what is the homeowner to do? If it provides any peace of mind, there is very little that you can do in advance of a storm to prevent tree problems. When power companies trim trees in right-of-ways, they are primarily managing to prevent outages. Tree health, tree structure, and aesthetics are secondary concerns.

In a homeowner situation, it doesn’t make sense to manage your trees in a way that sacrifices aesthetics and tree benefits in exchange for security from rare storm events. However, when nature does throw a curve ball, problems can occur.

When trouble happens, it is important to stay calm and safely assess the situation. Trees may be damaged and can fail without warning. Trees and limbs can fall on houses causing damage. Driveways and streets may be blocked and electric service to homes may be disrupted.

If trees or limbs do fall on your roof, keep in mind that it is likely unstable and may continue move. Be very wary of anything that is not resting completely on the ground. Call a qualified tree company that can assess the situation and safely handle it.

Streets and driveways can usually be cleared quickly. If you lose power because of trees or limbs tearing down the service lines to your house, call your power company and put in a service request. Be patient. The power company is going to be slammed and they will work as fast as possible to restore power. In the meantime, if your meter box or weatherhead has been damaged, call an electrician. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to have the meter box repaired before the electric company can reconnect service.

Hopefully, there will not be significant problems with ice and trees. If problems do arise, be safe, be patient, and give us a call at (803) 252-7294 to lend a hand.

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