Hurricane Sandy passed a couple hundred miles to the northeast of Miami in late October, 2012 as a Category 1 hurricane. Miami experienced the outer rain bands and sustained winds of 30-40 miles per hour, along with some tropical storm-force winds.
Dealing with downed trees and power lines, broken branches and limbs on roofs and cars, blocked roadways, driveways, parking lots and the debris that comes along with the remains of such wind events are very familiar to the men of One Two Tree. The senior members of the tree crews got their feet wet (no pun intended) following Hurricane Andrew 20 years ago. The newer members, having started with the company a few years following Andrew have plenty of storm disaster experience having worked clean-up details following Hurricanes Charlie and Jeanne in 2004, as well as, Katrina and Wilma in 2005.
On October 29, 2012 the coastal areas of New York, New Jersey and many other states would be devastated by what many news organizations started referring to as the perfect storm. More than 100 people were killed, entire communities were wiped-out, mass transit systems were crippled, close to 10 million homes were without power and the damage was being calculated in the tens of billions of dollars.
One Two Tree responded by sending two tree crews to the area almost immediately. So as not to neglect local customers and the work that was on the books, a decision was made to keep two crews local. Each man has specific qualifications, specialty training and skills that determined who would go and who would stay.
For the newly relocated crews the first task at hand would be clearing debris from strategic locations, allowing emergency personnel to gain access to critical areas, followed by clearing roadways, hospitals and other medical facility access, parking lots of food suppliers, gas stations, Etc. These are the priorities and the type of work that can make a difference quickly. It is also the type of work that is logistically easier for an out of state company to familiarize themselves with.
One Two Tree owns several large volume “loader trucks”. These are trucks that include an integrated mini-crane type fixture that can grab and scoop-up debris and then drop it into its hollow truck body until full, followed by transporting and dumping at a designated facility. Many smaller, local tree companies are best suited for helping clean-up damaged residential areas where they are familiar with neighborhoods and local streets and can use smaller, more versatile equipment.
With a month under their belt and having helped with the initial stage of clean-up, One Two Tree moved-on to their most current project of clearing debris from the City parks of Hightstown, New Jersey. During the debris clearing in Hightstown it came to the attention of one of the crews that a private resident was in dire need of a tree removal, so they temporarily interrupted their community duties, cut-up, hauled and disposed of the tree. The next day an e-mail was received at One Two Tree’s office in Miami from Hightstown, NJ resident Stacy Magliaro who wrote, “Thanks so much for helping people in NJ. Your company did a perfect job picking up my down tree”. That was just the type of feedback that everyone at One Two Tree could feel proud about.
When asked if he was homesick at all, tree crew foreman Mario Paiz said, “I miss the weather but feel really good about what we’re doing”. For several of the crew members it is their first time working in winter conditions, including seeing snow. No doubt, all will be ready to return and thaw-out when their work is complete.