A forecast that includes high winds or heavy rain often scares people in one Charleston, WV community. They have witnessed first hand the damage that can happen when a tree topples over. They said for years they have asked the city for help.
"I have a fear maybe it was even almost an abnormal fear after seeing the damage," said Aileen Wrenn who lives on Washington Avenue in Kanawha City.
13News talked to Wrenn in July 2013. A home in her neighborhood had recently been crushed by one of the giant trees that line the streets of her neighborhood. At the time she had been fighting for three years to get the tree in front of her home cut down. She had little success in her efforts. But finally the tree has been removed and replaced by a new much smaller tree.
"It was wonderful," Wrenn said. "I was just out here watching every move they made."
The City of Charleston has a 12 member Municipal Beautification Commission. Members are appointed by the mayor. They have a tree board that meets to decide if a tree can be removed. The Charleston Public Grounds Director also contacts a state forester to assess trees that are prompting concern.
"It makes a lot of people nervous," said Harley Goodwin, Charleston Public Grounds Director.
Tuesday he met with the Beautification Commission to tour the city. One of the items on the agenda for the group Tuesday was to check out the trees in Kanawha City.
"People are realizing now that the trees are at their life span," Goodwin said.
He said some of the trees are over 80 years old. He said since July 2013 the city has removed 12 trees in the area around Washington Avenue and 40 total throughout the city.
Charleston's Public Grounds Department now has a forester on staff. Goodwin said with that employee's help they are planning to inventory the size, type and condition of all the city's trees.