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Milwaukee says it will take a week to clear downed trees after major storm

Posted at 4:04 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 20:06:04-04

MILWAUKEE — The City of Milwaukee says it's expected to take a week to clear all of the downed trees around the city.

"We will get to you," said Brian DeNeve, spokesperson for the Public Works Department. "Ultimately, we've been working 24/7. We're being as efficient and creative and collaborating with our other teams."

According to Public Works, crews will continue to work around the clock -- no less than 56 field staff and management during the day and 36 overnight.

The city says it's received 1,300 tree service requests, though some of those are likely requests for the removal of the same tree by different citizens.

Seventy percent of requests are 'critical level' and will be prioritized. That includes downed trees/branches obstructing the public right of way as well as trees and branches that have fallen on buildings, homes, or cars. It also includes any tree or branch that's damaging power lines.

For many citizens, it's still unclear when their problems will be addressed.

"I really didn't expect it to be til today [Friday] that it'd still be boxed in like this," said Amanda McCloud, whose home is on a street blocked at both ends by fallen trees.

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A few blocks away, Tyrone Guyton is waiting for a tree to be cleared from his driveway so he can pull out his car. He has a medical condition that makes it difficult for him to walk.

"They told me yesterday I was next. But then they moved to another tree," said Guyton.

The other tree, says Guyton, was blocking the street a few homes up from him. He has several medical conditions, and his next appointment is on Monday. Friends and family are available to pick him up if needed.

“Hopefully I don’t have no emergency where I really don’t have to get in the vehicle and do things on my own," he said.

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According to DeNeve, his coworkers -- many who've been working as first responders for decades -- believe it's the worst storm damage they've ever seen in the area.

“So putting that in perspective, we had a severe weather event and only so many resources to address them," said DeNeve.

For those managing some of the cleanup on their own, the City of Milwaukee Drop Off is accepting, at no charge, up to six cubic yards of brush, including logs and larger tree branches.

The center will also take spoiled food that is bagged (double-bagging is encouraged).

Center hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. More information and locations at

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