Tree Crew Receives Gratitude – A Special Thank You

Kristy Tallman

During the second day of free meals being served at Thriftway to the storm workers, Mary Anne Miller stopped by to deliver a special thank you to the tree trimmers.

Miller brought with her a thank you card and a great big hug to the guys who are working hard to remove downed trees in the aftermath of last weekend’s storm.

“I’ve never been so thankful to see tree workers before,” She explained she had several trees down on her property which is off Hwy 20 just out of Sweet Home.

Jason Schrepfer, a Foreman for Wright Tree Services, based out of Salem, said of the storm, “This is the worst I’ve ever seen so far as trees down and lines down. The ice has been horrible.”

Miller explained her husband had passed away recently and she hadn’t been looking forward to seeing all the damage the storm left behind.

“It was the most eerie thing ever,” she explained “I’ve never seen it [Hwy 20] so devoid of cars. I could hear limbs breaking all the way across the highway. It was so quiet, so quiet you could hear everything.”

Miller still has many trees on her property that need repair; however this is her first winter storm with such damage since the passing of her husband.

Having once lived in Alaska before she and her husband relocated to Sweet Home upon his retirement, she said of the storm, “I never even seen it this bad in Alaska, never.” She was concerned how she would manage the massive cleanup of trees she faced and wanted to ask the guys for advice on her best first steps.

Schrepfer, from Albany, agreed, saying his worst experience throughout his time spent working on clean up was the sounds of the forest.

“I’d say the worst part of this storm has been standing in the dark working on trees while other trees are snapping and popping all around you. You have no clue what’s coming down.”

“It’s like a horror movie,” said Tanner Parks, also a foreman for Wright Tree Services.

Parks, of Cottage Grove, was working on a 24 hour shift and still going. Wright’s has been working mostly throughout Linn County during the storm cleanup.

“We’re looking forward to getting it done.” said Schrepfer. He explained they were currently working in the Holley area where the power was still out. “We’re getting there.”

Both Schrepfer and Parks said they couldn’t believe the amount of community support and kindness they had received since they arrived in town.

“It’s really been great,” said Schrepfer, “Everyone has been very nice to us, even patient with us and we couldn’t ask for more. It’s hard when everyone is waiting for their power to come back. We can’t thank them enough for everything they’ve been doing.”