PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Three days after Monday’s unprecedented snowstorm, the city of Portland is asking people to be patient as crews work to clear up the debris.
Instead of starting the spring pruning the city’s gardens and green spaces, crews have been cleaning up massive trees that didn’t survive the week’s high winds and heavy snowfall.
Mark Ross with Portland Parks & Recreation says the number of tree-related emergencies have been climbing all week.
“We’re now looking at more than 700 tree emergencies citywide,” Ross said. “It’s a real struggle for our crews right now. We’re looking to make sure ambulances have clear paths, that fire trucks can get through, that doctors can get to see their patients. It’s all hands on deck.”
Ross also says that workers haven’t dealt with a mess on this scale since the winter storm of February 2021.
“When you say there’s more than 700 tree emergencies it sounds like a lot, and then you see the size and the scope of what we’re actually talking about,” Ross said.
The wood from the downed trees is put into a chipper, while the bark is used around local parks to fill flower beds, playgrounds and dog parks.
Ross said that it could take weeks to remove all the fallen trees.
“It’s a lot of wood, it’s a big problem in a lot of areas, so we’re talking about weeks worth of emergency response,” Ross said.