Severe storms knocked down dozens of trees, but who is responsible for cleaning up the mess?

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INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – Hours after another severe storm rips through the city, crews are still working to remove dozens of fallen trees and heavy debris. Including a 20,000 pound branch that fell during the storm and crushed a Northwest side home.

“Horrible. One of the worst ones that I have seen. Really, really bad damage,” says First Choice Tree Removal owner Daren Arterberry.

The strong winds and heavy rains were responsible for knocking the tree down, leaving the responsibility of cleaning up the mess…in question.

“Tree work can be really expensive. Especially when something like this happens,” says Arterberry.

Since the tree fell on private property, the Indianapolis Department of Public Works is not responsible for the clean up.

“They come out and do the best that they can to get it off of the road. They clear it out, put it on the property, then it is the homeowners responsibility,” says Arterberry.

Residents can hire a private company to do the dirty work, or they can try and remove the mess themselves.

“Any trees or storm debris that are on the property of the resident are their responsibility. We will do the public areas right away and the public property,” says DPW Spokeswoman Jennifer Hashem.

DPW takes care of the fallen trees and storm debris that falls in the right of way, including sidewalks and roads. The Mayors Action Center received 130 requests overnight for issues with storm debris. More than half of the reports were for fallen trees.

“We are addressing so many of the cases in the city. This was a pretty severe storm, so we are working as quickly as we can to address the. If residents do see debris on their property, of course go ahead and take care of it,” says Hashem.

If a tree is struck by lightening or blown over by the wind and falls onto a power line, that is IPL’s job.

“Anytime we have severe weather it is our top priority to keep our streets clear and make sure that our residents can get from place to place,” says Hashem.

If you have a fallen tree or need storm debris removed from public property, call the Mayor Action Center at 317-327-4MAC

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