Missoula’s city tree crews still have three or four weeks of cleanup work to catch up with last Monday’s thunderstorm damage, and they don’t want to add emergency medical aid to their to-do list.
“We’ve taken numerous calls and observed lots of people going out to inspect or treat trees that still have live wires dangling on them,” said Parks and Recreation Department systems manager David Selvage. “It doesn’t take many amps to kill you, and trees are a perfect conduit for electricity. We’re lucky we haven’t had any deaths from the Monday night storm, based on what we’re hearing.”
With more strong windstorms in the forecast for the weekend, city officials are reminding Missoulians there are several options available for dealing with damaged trees.
Any power line hit by a tree or a damaged power pole should be reported to NorthWestern Energy, which has emergency line service crews that can properly shut off power and repair the wreckage. The toll-free number to call is 1-888-467-2669.
Fallen trees along city streets, parks and boulevards can be reported to the Parks and Recreation Department by calling 552-6253 or leaving a message on the department’s website at bit.ly/1hbP5kb. This is for non-emergency tree damage, and will not bring an immediate response.
Anyone with an emergency situation should call 9-1-1 for assistance. Missoula city and county law enforcement ask that 9-1-1 calls be reserved for situations that threaten lives or property.
Calls regarding power service or non-emergency debris removal should be directed to the appropriate power utility or private landscaping services.