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Wind, rain leaves Borderland with major cleanup

By: Melissa Gundersen
EL PASO, Texas -- Debris, uprooted trees, and damaged roofs kept people in the Borderland pretty busy Thursday.

Roofers and landscapers were some of the busiest people. They said they spend the day traveling all over the city responding to emergency calls. One person who called Escalante Roofing in need of immediate help was Rosario Jimenez.

"I saw the shingles were all over the yard and across the street at the neighbor's house. The wind was so strong they just kept falling, falling and falling," said Jimenez.

In front of her house is a stack of shingles that tore off her roof. Jimenez said once rain started falling things got worse -- water started dripping into her home.

It's a story roofers said they've heard all day, but the problem isn't just with roofs. A lot of trees were also uprooted.

"We've gotten quite a few calls where there being uprooted and landing on cars and what have you," John Pinney, the CEO of Delta Unlimited, a company that removes trees.

One viewer sent KFOX14 a picture of a tree that fell on a car. KFOX 14 cameras also caught an uprooted tree in the backyard of a northeast El Paso woman's home.

The homeowner said the wind was so strong she thought her windows were going to break. She soon heard a loud boom in her backyard. When she looked out her window she said it was her tree hitting the ground.

Landscapers said they've seen more of this type of damage within the last few years.

"We've had a tremendous increase, tremendous increase, maybe 150 percent increase from the storm that we had a few years ago," said Pinney.

Pinney was referencing the freeze in 2011 that killed a lot of trees. He said the problem is people aren't removing their dead trees.

"They're being uprooted with the high winds because there's no root zone anymore because they've dried out," said Pinney.

Robin Syverson of west El Paso is proactive about keeping her trees in good condition. She doesn't want to her trees to fall and possibly damage her property, or worse, injure someone.

But since having a tree removed can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a thousand dollars per tree, Syrerson has done something else to her trees. It's a process called thinning a tree.

"It takes away from the heaviness of the tree too so that way you're not dealing with these heavy trees that are falling over and being uprooted," said Syverson

Landscapers said no matter how much it costs to remove or thin a tree, ignoring a dead tree could wind up costing someone more in the end.

"We had a call that the tree would have cost maybe about $600 to remove and it did about $33,000 worth of damage to the house," said Pinney.



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