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LITTLE ROCK – Even though the storm system that encased many parts of Arkansas in
ice has past, there is still potential for damage from falling trees and limbs, Tamara
Walkingstick, associate director of the Arkansas Forest Resources Center, said Friday.
“There are two factors that make the current situation dangerous,” she said. “First,
the continued cold has meant that the ice buildup has remained in branches and that
translates into continued pressure, weight and stress on the tree. Secondly, before
the ice storm, the ground had a good soaking rain, softening the soil and allowing
for trees to topple more easily.”
With the possibility of more snow, more weight on trees may mean more toppling timber.
The National Weather Service office in Little Rock issued a winter weather advisory
through 2 a.m. Saturday. Some places in Arkansas were expecting up to 3 inches of
snow with a system moving into state Friday afternoon.
Until there’s a warm up and the ice disappears, homeowners should carefully examine
any branches or trees that could pose an immediate threat to life and limb.
Homeowners should also have realistic expectations about their abilities to cut fallen
trees and limbs safely.
“When trees are bent and loaded with ice, and suddenly all that pressure is relieved
through a saw cut, the tree can snap up quickly and the person cutting can be injured
by the tree and by flying shards of ice,” she said.
One method is to begin by taking the limbs off tree to lighten the load, and work
back toward the trunk. However, when in doubt, hire a professional to do the cleanup
work, she said.
For more information on what to do after an ice storm, visit http://www.uaex.uada.edu/environment-nature/disaster/storm-damage.aspx or contact your county extension office.
February 7, 2014
By Mary Hightower Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A Division System of Agriculture
Media Contact: Mary HightowerExtension Communications SpecialistU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) firstname.lastname@example.org