Local tree removal company heading east to help with Florence victims

It's still about a day until Hurricane Florence makes landfall but a Wisconsin-based tree removal service will soon hit the road to help with any of the devastation.

"It's the right thing to do," Lance Wallace, owner of Wallace Tree & Care said. "I saw other people do it so I said, I want to do that. You learn from example I guess."

However, it's not the first time Wallace has gone east to help with hurricane relief efforts. In 1996, he first went to North Carolina to help after Hurricane Fran hit. 

"I went a couple days later and I stayed for a month," Wallace said. "Back then, I was a climber, hanging from a 100-ton crane every day for a month picking trees off houses."

He says it motivated him to go back again in 2003 during Hurricane Isabel. While it is a business, he has plenty of business back here to keep him occupied. There is no need for his company to go but he says he can see the difference they make in people's lives. 

"We will be working 14 hours a day there," Wallace said. "We don't do that here. It's a little different. You work longer hours but you feel good at the end of the day. Do unto other people as you want done to you. I believe in karma."

Now, things will be much different when he gets to the damaged area. He won't be climbing up to help cut down trees. He has a crane and claw machine which clears trees in half the time and more safely. The truck is massive and he controls it with some levers tied to a belt that look more like a video game console. 

Since he clears trees in half the time, he needs a space to store all of the debris he collects. The back of the truck has a massive bed which should be empty on his way east. He's doing his best to change that.

"A friend of mine from Better Earth Textile Recycling will drop off some clothes," Wallace said. Some other friends make cold pressed juice in Milwaukee called Juiced! will bring bottled water and juice. I'm going to reach out to some other local small businesses. I don't want to overload the truck but I want to take some stuff down. I'm going down empty. I should do something."

It's all a part of who he is as a Wisconsin native. When he sees people in need, he wants to help.

"They're thankful when they get the tree off the house and patch the hole in the roof," Wallace said. "We're getting them back on their feet faster."

To follow along, you can find updates on Lance's Instagram.

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