It's late in the evening, quiet and dark outside. You're watching television and suddenly you hear a loud crack, crash and boom! That's when you realize, the tree outside your living room window just fell, crashing into your home.
That's what Fox Point resident Rachael Herrenbruck experienced during the weekend's snow storms that blanketed southeast Wisconsin in heavy, wet snow.
"At first it sounded like snow sliding off the roof, but then the bigger branches came down and we all ducked like that would save us," Herrenbruck said.
And she's not the only one who experienced falling trees and branches. According to Brian Manthey, a spokesmen for WE Energies, about 200 people lost power thanks to falling trees and limbs. Power was restored to everyone by 1 a.m.
But even as the temperatures spike and the snow melts today, winds have been gusting up to 45 mph according to the National Weather Service and that means more trees may be dropping onto power lines and homes.
"The most important point is that if a power line is either tangled in a downed tree or tree branch, people need to stay at least 25 feet away and call us to report the hazard –even if they haven’t lost power. In fact, in that case it is very critical that you call us because it is even more likely that the line is live," Manthey said.
He also said that because it's still early in the season and trees have not had a chance to grow new leaves, the chance of limbs falling and taking out power lines is lessened. However, in a few months, it may be a different story.
"Winds of today’s velocity in the summer might be a different story, because they will be heavier due to the leaves," he said. "Add in some precipitation and it could create some problems."
Here's a few tips from the WE Energies website on trimming your trees to help keep your home safe:
- If a tree is closer than 10 feet to a power line and you'd like it removed, WE Energies can do that for you. Just fill out this form.
- Before trimming limbs yourself or having a contractor give you a hand, contact WE Energies at 800-242-9137 to request that the power be temporarily turned off to service lines.
- Phone and cable companies maintain their lines even when they are on our poles. Contact your phone or cable company for tree conflicts or assistance with phone and cable wires.