Home owners face big bills from wind storm damage

Pierce, King Counties hit hard by wind storm; facing no power, major cleanup (PHOTO: KOMO News)

Tom Frets now has a massive headache to tackle because of the 60-foot hemlock tree now sitting on his home by Lake Wilderness Golf Course.

“We need to get it removed,” said Frets. “It’s a big deal. It’ll take a crew a while.”

He says it may take as much as $6,000 to remove it.

The tree crashed into his home early Sunday morning. Fortunately, no one was hurt. There’s a hole in the roof and it rained, even snowed overnight. But, Frets knows it could be worse.

“We felt lucky to not have the power go out,” he said.

A few miles away, at the Maple Valley Community Center there are more toppled trees, including one on the metal roof.

“It’s across a power line. So, it’s a dangerous situation until we can get the power shut down,” said Jim Flynn.

Across the street is a live power line that’s making a lot of people very nervous because that one is sparking.

Contractor crews keep a close eye on the dangerous situation from a safe distance.

They tell us utility crews, that would handle the problem, are swamped.

Flynn lives a few blocks away on a street still blocked with fallen trees and a live power line. To add to his woes, he has no electricity.

“The tough part is the uncertainty. We don’t know when it’s going to get repaired. We’re hoping it’s going to happen but there’s only five people on my street. We don’t have a lot of priority,” said Flynn.

Mother Nature has made a difficult situation even worse. Nearly a dozen homeless families that already count on emergency temporary shelter at Vine Maple Place have no heat and no light.

“We’re trying to help them get somewhere that’s warm,” said Director Michelle Frets.

So many neighborhoods in Maple Valley are stuck without power, surrounded by many fallen trees, or threatened by downed power lines. Homeowners and businesses are waiting and wondering when help will come.

“I haven’t seen any in Central Maple Valley,” said Flynn. “I think they're out in the areas that have larger neighborhoods.”

Monday night, about 750 customers in Maple Valley remain without power.

Puget Sound Energy says they've brought in additional crews and are continuing to work to remove trees and debris and restore power to impacted customers.

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