Fort Smith Residents, Crews Work To Clean Up Storm Damage

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Overnight storms left behind damage all over the River Valley, prompting homeowners along with electric companies and tree removal services to work around the clock to clean up the debris on Sunday (Oct. 22).

"The wind was extremely strong," Leo Bramel, homeowner said. "It sounded almost like a tornado because it was really strong. It made a lot of noise over the house."

Across town, the Bramel's worked to clean up their home on Fresno Street after a tree in their front yard landed right next to their house.

Just a few houses down, a tree fell on top of their neighbor's house, also causing damage to windows and a backyard fence.

"We're very fortunate that the tree fell exactly where it did," Bramel said. "One way or the other, it would've caused damage to their house or more damage to our house. It'll just take a lot of work with the chainsaw and my wife and I cutting, but it won't be bad."

Residents, electric companies and tree removal services all worked throughout the day to clean up the debris.

One thing workers have seen is homeowners trying to clean up by themselves, which tree removal workers like Robber Conner said could cause more damage to your home or even yourself.

"If you have a tree that is suspended or resting on something, that's classified as a difficult removal," Conner said. "If it's laying on the ground, it's okay. But, when it's leaning against something, don't try it on your own because there are certain tactics we use to release that tree slowly because of the weight factor."

Conner estimated the tree in Bramel's yard to weigh as much as 2,000 pounds, something he said the average person would not be able to clean up on their own.

"People underestimate that," Conner said. "They look at a tree and they think it's just a limb or two and they can remove it; definitely not true."