Storm increases demand for tree removal

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COLUMBIA - A severe thunderstorm ravaged the Columbia area Monday night through Tuesday morning, bringing trees down across the area.

Matt Lewis, owner of Lewis Tree Removal, said this skyrocketed the demand for his company's services. He said he received over 100 requests by late Tuesday afternoon.

"We decided to wait until daylight and to start," he said. "I got up at 5 in the morning and got going. I've never seen so much damage in Columbia. I've been doing this for 18 years, and I've never seen so much damage go through." 

Because of the influx, Lewis asked his customers to be patient.

"We are so overwhelmed with calls," he said. "Our priority right now is getting trees off of structures, off of cars and off of electric lines near houses."

Lewis said if a resident finds tree damage to their home, call a local tree removal service found in the phone book. 

"There's several tree companies around here that do a great job and have insurance, those are the guys you want to hire," Lewis said.

He also stressed to avoid downed power lines and call 911 if you come across them.