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80-year-old tree in Harrisburg removed, causing residents to lose power

Several residents were unhappy about the inconvenience this could cause throughout the week.
Credit: WPMT

HARRISBURG, Pa. — An 80-year-old elm tree used to tower over the houses around Green, Harris, Penn and Clinton Streets in Harrisburg; however, the roots and limbs of this tree have been causing issues for years.

City officials, with the help of PPL, have begun removing the tree, limb by limb. 

"The way the power lines are tangled in there, you're one bad storm away from a devastating electrical fire," said Harrisburg's Director of Communications, Matt Maisel.

But the tree removal came with a cost. Many residents in the area lost power, and it could remain out for a couple of days. 

"I'm on the third floor, so it gets humid up there. Hopefully, it doesn't affect my food," said Lonnie Jones, a resident affected by the removal. 

Several residents were unhappy about the inconvenience this could cause throughout the week. However, some neighbors understood the importance of removing the tree to avoid future complications.

"You have to bend with the times," said Harrisburg resident, Bob Deibler, who experienced the power outage. "That tree was in a god-awful place and they had to get it out of there."

City officials continue to ask for patience with the removal. 

"We are very confident in saying that a little disruption with parking and power is a lot better than the alternative of hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage," said Maisel.

With help from the American Red Cross, officials said that residents affected by the tree removal could take shelter at the HACC Midtown Center. Residents would be able to stay cool and receive internet connection, water and snacks.

"We are here in cooperation with the city of Harrisburg to let the residents that are affected by this problem know that were are here to support them," said Zenoria Owens, a volunteer with the American Red Cross.

The tree removal project is scheduled until Aug. 5, and residents should expect power to be out until noon on Aug. 3.

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