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Trees damaged by Hurricane Michael causing new damage in Tallahassee

Posted at 5:49 PM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 17:49:41-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Power is back on for thousands after storms blew across the southeast Thursday. At one point, more than 10,000 customers in the Big Bend area were left in the dark.

A homeowner tells us that some of those outages could have been prevented.

The homeowner says trees that have a orange-red mark on it were supposed to be taken out last year after Hurricane Michael. If they had been, perhaps some big headaches could have been avoided.

"We work within our schedule, try to prioritize them,” said Tony Guillen, the Talquin Electric Director of Engineering & Operations. “Some trees are more dangerous than others."

Homeowner Glenn Rainey says Talquin crews came around after Hurricane Michael and marked trees by his yard.

"This house was cut in half by a tree and we basically had to move out for almost nine months,” Rainey said. “Now this happened."

The problem is, the trees by Rainey’s house never removed.

“A tree fell that Talquin should've cut down, and they didn't, and now the whole electricity got torn down,” said Rainey.

Rainey is one of about 10,000 people whose power went out Thursday. Now, he estimates he's going to be paying thousands for repairs.

'It's money out-of-pocket now,” he said. “We have all this money out of pocket and it's an expense we shouldn't have had to incur."

"Unfortunately, sometimes with events [like yesterday] we have identified that we want to take out, and an event may come in and a tree may be taken out," said Guillen.

Talquin recognizes it's entirely possible they didn't get there in time to take it out.

"We cover Liberty County, Gadsden, Wakulla and Leon County,” Guillen said. “That's 2,500 square miles on top of our miles of line so there may be an issue that we may not have been able to address yet."

The energy company hopes people will reach out to them directly if they have an issue like this. Rainey says he's positive he's not the only one.

"There's probably more trees out here that need to be taken care of,” Rainey explained. “I'm sure there's other people out there that are just like me. Suffering."

If you have an orange-red mark on a tree from your yard and it hasn't been attended to, reach out to Talquin's member services line. (850) 627-7651.