Chattanooga officials warn of weather effects on trees

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – Officials in Chattanooga say the number of large trees falling on power and communications lines has risen significantly following last summer’s drought and weather fluctuations in the last few years.

The Chattanooga utility EPB said in a news release that trees weakened by drought caused many of the power outages that occurred during recent strong storms in the area.

EPB Vegetation Manager George Morgan says from March 1 to May 22, 486 outages were caused by uprooted trees, compared with 38 during the same time period last year.

Chattanooga City Forester Gene Hyde says extreme heat last summer also contributed to declining tree health.

Morgan said in the release that homeowners should watch for trees that appear to be dying or are leaning near power lines and buildings.