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LDAF Advises Residents to Be Safe When Removing Hurricane Debris

September 6, 2008

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry advised all Louisiana residents to practice good chainsaw safety and be wary of downed power lines and others hazards when removing hurricane debris from their property.
In addition, LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. said residents should be cautious when hiring hurricane debris removal workmen.
“Do not pre-pay or give a deposit to any person or firm that says they will come back to clean your yard as this may be a scam,” Strain said. “Honest tree removal firms and individuals do not do business that way.”
Licensed arborists carry liability insurance and are fully trained to remove standing trees and hanging branches.
“A reputable firm should be able to present their certificate of insurance,” Strain said.
Downed power lines present another hazard, Strain said.
“Before you start removing debris from your yard, make sure there are no downed power lines,” Strain said. “It’s best just to leave debris alone if a downed power line is present. Your life is just not worth the risk.”
Strain said Chief Medical Officer Louis Cataldie, M.D., reported one death in Winn Parish due to a tree-cutting accident.
“Please practice good chainsaw safety. Read the chainsaw operating manual and be sure to wear boots, gloves, eye and ear protection,” Strain said. “Don’t climb up a ladder or tree with the chain saw running.”  
LDAF officials said the removal of debris from private property is the landowner’s responsibility but safety comes first.
A list of licensed arborists is available on the LDAF Web site at