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Out-of-town tree-trimmers expect to be in Cedar Rapids for months

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Tree trimmers web
Ron Even clears a fallen tree with a Bobcat tractor in northwest Cedar Rapids Saturday.
Autumn drive
House after house on Autumn Drive in Cedar Rapids with tree debris waiting to be picked up.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) - Tree-trimming businesses have their work cut out for them in Cedar Rapids and the surrounding area right now, trying to clean up in the path of Monday's derecho.

City officials have been asking people to break trees down into 10-foot chunks before dragging them to the curb but that's a very daunting task for most people.

"We can't keep up. There's so many people that need help and we just can't get to them," Ronald Even said, who's worked for his dad's company since he was old enough to sweep.

Even Family Tree Services says it's gotten over 500 calls for service this week. Even with companies being called in from places like Des Moines, there's many people still waiting.

"There's tons of us but unfortunately there's not enough for what there is over here. They've been hit hard," Ron Even said, who founded the company 15 years ago.

Ron says the only comparable damage he's seen before was the Parkersburg tornado of 2008. But in that case, funnel-type winds took some debris out of the area.

"Parkersburg, it took it (debris) and scattered it 2 - 300 miles away," Ron Even said. "Here, it's just...everything's on top of houses, cars, garages."

Even says they're working late into the night and on weekends right now, and thinks they'll need to stay in the Cedar Rapids area late into the fall.

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Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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