City has long road ahead for storm cleanup

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Crews are still cleaning up the mess left behind by the massive wind storm Friday night, but their job is far from over.

Workers with the Hastings Parks and Rec Department remove the fallen tree from a home along Burlington Wednesday. (Source: Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB)

We've all seen the gigantic tree that fell on the house along Burlington Avenue. It's the worst bit of damage in Hastings from the storm.

Maintenance workers with the Hastings Parks and Rec Department removed the tree on Wednesday, five days after the storm hit.

"Today was very successful. We didn't damage the house an further than it already was," said Cody Williams, a maintenance worker with Hastings Parks and Rec. "We still have a lot more to go. We still have a car buried that we have to try to get "out-buried." I think everything went really good."

The crew secured the house, and began to saw off branches to make it more manageable for them to haul it away to the dump. Since it's a terrace tree, the city is in charge of its removal.

The tree was about 75 feet tall before it fell, and at least 4 feet in diameter. It fell right on the roof, and caused a bit of damage there. It proved quite the challenge for the crew.

"We've cut down a few this size. Normally we get to do it on our terms, not nature's terms, but sometimes nature does its own course. It's a lot of work yet to come. There's still a lot of dead trees that we have to go get yet," Williams said.

The home owner said the adjuster couldn't make an assessment until the tree was off the roof. He said they'll actually miss the tree a bit, and plan to apply to get another one through the city.

Crews still need to go through the parks to pick up dead trees and branches. Williams said it'll take them a few weeks. If you still see some branches laying around, just know the city is getting to them.