ROADBLOCK - The Eckville Fire Department sprung into action, blocking off dangerous parts of the town, where strong winds damaged local trees, last week. Photo by Sam Macdonald/Eckville Echo

ROADBLOCK - The Eckville Fire Department sprung into action, blocking off dangerous parts of the town, where strong winds damaged local trees, last week. Photo by Sam Macdonald/Eckville Echo

Eckville just about finished with storm clean up

The biggest part of clean up was cutting down the damaged trees

The Town of Eckville has recently finished its local efforts to and pickup the mess left by the violent wind storm that swept through Central Alberta last week, which downed trees and power lines throughout the region.

Fire Chief Stuart Carde said the efforts on the part of the Eckville Fire Department are done. He noted the fire department dealt with several downed trees and branches, and three downed power lines in Eckville – and another three power lines in Lacombe County.

“There was no property damage, in Eckville, that I’m aware of,” said Carde in a call with the Eckville Echo. “Compared to Sylvan Lake or Red Deer, we go away lucky. We had extremely high winds, but fared pretty well.”

Carde emphasized how impressed he was with the work Red Deer 911 was able to do under pressure, given they were “inundated with calls,” adding “I’d like to give them a hand for dispatching us to the relevant calls in our areas.”

By early this week, the only work that remained to be done was the cutting down and disposal of trees. The majority of tree removal was completed by that time, said Gary Heisler, a labourer with the Town of Eckville’s Public Works department.

“As far as I know, the power lines are okay. The biggest thing was and is cutting down the trees that are left,” said Heisler on the morning of June 26, in a call with the Eckville Echo. “That’s why the cleanup is going fine. Whatever trees we had cut down, it’s just a matter of hauling. The hard part is actually taking them to the transfer site, because they’re pretty full right now.”

Heisler said Public Works ended up cutting down and disposing of a total of five local trees, adding “one tree was at a point where if it was left standing it would be too dangerous – it was leaning to one side.”

“Rather than have it stay there, lean and eventually fall in the next wind storm, we just too it down,” said Heisler, referring to the taken that was standing by the local arena before it was taken down. “There were four parts to it – two fell over and the other two were leaning quite badly, so we just took it down.”

Heisler said that part of what made the task of taking down damaged trees a challenge for public works was the fact that many of the trees they dealt with were larger, older trees.

“One just south of the school, by the splash park fell over on the fence. The other, by the skateboard park, had a root system [that became exposed, and] lifted the fence it was under,” said Heisler. “That was the hard part for us – there were four of us cutting them down and loading them up at the same time.”

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