Tree trimming preps happening ahead of potential effects from Hurricane Michael

Tree trimming preps happening ahead of potential effects from Hurricane Michael

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Halloween Hike is a big fundraising effort for the team at the Oatland Island Wildlife Center, and it’s on despite the island getting hit by a tornado just a few months ago.

Pathways have been repaired and the section of the island that normally hosts Halloween Hike is in good enough shape to handle the trick or treating crowd on the 19th and 20th of this month. However, ahead of any potential effects from Hurricane Michael, the center’s director says they’re already taking some proactive steps.

“We will be moving some of the animals out of their enclosures into other secure locations on the property. We get ready for the possibility of loss of power, those kinds of things," said Heather Merbs, Director of the Oatland Island Wildlife Center.

Even with storms happening around Halloween Hike the past few years, they haven’t had to cancel the activity, something Merbs and staff are hoping for again this year.

“We’re really hoping for no more damage from Michael. We’re seems like we’re barely getting out of the storm mode from the last storm, and then something new comes along," Merbs said.

One of the big issues for the island, and around the county in past storms has been falling trees and tree limbs, taking out power lines and causing damage to homes.

While you normally want to have a certified arborist take a look at trees around your home two months or so out, there are still things you can do even a couple days out.

“Certainly get out and look at your trees. Look for any type of broken branches that might be hanging over the roof. That’s something that might be able to be taken care of prior to that. Look for branches that are rubbing on the homes things of that nature, but again, when you start working on trees, you need an arborist and not Joe homeowner up in these trees trying to correct the situation themselves," said Shannon Baughman, a certified arborist with Bartlett Tree Experts.

Baughman says they do have windows where they can work homeowners in, but added their phones started ringing this morning a little more than than usual.

On Oatland Island, the director says she’s hoping the dead or dying trees got knocked down from the tornado back in July.

It’s something they’ll be keeping a close eye on over the next few days.

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