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Falling Tree Branches Leads To Power Outages

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DENVER (CBS4) – Cold temperatures and wet snow caused many downed tree branches across the Front Range which led to power outages for thousands.

According to arborists, the problem with a spring storm is that trees have already started to grow leaves. Those leaves collect snow and water adding weight and stress to trees, causing many branches to break.

In South Denver, Guy Lindsay awoke Monday to find a decades old apple tree on top of his house.

“It’s been here since we’ve lived here,” said Lindsay.

Lindsay is just one of more than a dozen cases companies like Swingle Lawn, Tree & Landscaping are dealing with.

“We started preparing early last week,” said Michael Guenther from Swingle.

The company says spring storms can often cause more damage than winter storms.

“It can split right down the middle of the larger scaffold branches,” said Guenther.

The company works closely with Xcel Energy anytime power lines are involved.

“We were expecting a heavy wet snow, which is what we got,” said Xcel spokesman Gabriel Romero.

Xcel says at its peak the storm caused 60,000 power outages, but power was back on by 9 a.m.

“Had there been a couple of inches more, we probably would have sustained more outages,” said Romero.

Homeowners say it’s all just part of living in Colorado.

“Just another storm, glad to see the moisture,” said Lindsay. “Seems like it’s a bit late this year, but it can snow here anytime I suppose.”

Trees may continue to be a problem until the state is done with cold temperatures.

Experts say before approaching a downed tree, check and make sure it’s not near power lines or if any new branches might fall.

If need be, contact the city or a tree removal company.

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