Heavy lifting part of cleanup after wind storm hits Valley

(WYTV) – Cleaning up from Wednesday’s wind storm was difficult in some places. It required heavy lifting and hard work, while many waited in the dark for over 24 hours for their power to come back on.

Dale Elder and Brent Baker are heroes to a Canfield neighborhood by closing in the hydraulic reclosures at the top of a pole. It’s the technical way of simply flipping the switch back on to restore power.

Hundreds of trees had branches ripped off or simply blew over. A tree fell over and ripped down lines behind Fairway Drive, leaving Marcia Hammond in the dark for almost 24 hours.

“I think I get spoiled by the computer, and the cell phone, and the television and all of a sudden, you realize you don’t have anything. Not sure what to do with yourself,” she said.

At one point, 16,000 homes were without power as the winds whipped.

Rich Sari had no luck yesterday. The power was knocked out where he was in Pennsylvania, so he came back to Ohio but the power was out there, too.

He was walking through the neighborhood, asking the Ohio Edison workers when it was going to come back on.

“I was going to try and find somebody and see if they knew anything because I don’t know when to start throwing food out,” Sari said.

In Warren, the cleanup was mostly trees. Braun’s Tree Service chewed up mainly pine trees, which were easily tipped over by strong winds between 50 and 70 miles per hour.

“It is a lot easier to clean up when they are down than when they are up,” Braun Radujkovic said. “It’s just trying to bust out as many as we can today.”

The biggest cleanup was tackled by a crane Thursday afternoon — a mammoth tree that splintered and fell on Lane Funeral Home in Warren.

“It takes some special equipment to move this tree. It is not just sitting around. Bazetta Tree did a great job but they don’t have anything to lift anything heavy like this,” said David Knarr, with Lane Funeral Homes. “That’s the human element of this is getting this tree down safely. It doesn’t look like much. It looks like you could just go and cut it, but it is not that easy. It is a massive tree, very dangerous up on that roof right now.”

He said it was a relief to have it moved because he was anxiously waiting to get the hole in the roof covered up before the next storm hits.

First Energy Spokesperson Mark Durbin said at the peak of the storm, 100,000 customers in northeast Ohio were without power.

He said customers still without service should monitor First Energy’s outage map for estimated times of restoration. Durbin cautioned those times are approximate and some areas may have to wait until sometime Friday to have power restored.