Hundreds of falling trees leave 3,500 in Chelan County without power

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @gchittimK5

KING5.com

Posted on December 24, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 24 at 8:46 PM

One resident of the small community of Plain, Washington, just west of Leavenworth, said he carries two chainsaws in his pickup because he has to cut his way in and out of his home every day.

He and others said as soon as they clear their roads and driveways, more trees fall and the process starts all over again.

Thousands of trees have fallen since heavy snowfall started piling up on the branches more than a week ago. Power is out for more than 3,500 customers and many could still be without it through New Years Day.

Many have had to cancel holiday plans because they cannot host guests or even cook a Christmas dinner. Others are reluctant to leave their homes for fear of what they will find when they come home.

Power crews are coming in from surrounding communities, but some areas are just too dangerous to send them in.  Even if they did, managers said, the constant tree falls would just undo their hard work.

On Monday, they brought in a helicopter to look for problem areas and in some cases they try to sweep the treetops to loosen up the snow that has trees bent over to the breaking point.

Some snap off midway up, but the real problem is the big trees that eventually succumb to the snow weight and tumble over roots and all.

The snow fell constantly for the last week, but Monday was a good day and crews reportedly made solid progress.
 

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