Clean-up continues after South Austin storm

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE NEWS and photojournalist SCOTT GUEST

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on September 5, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 5 at 5:38 PM

AUSTIN -- Uprooted trees, flattened fences and even a sidewalk is lifted out of the ground in one South Austin neighborhood.

"It was just loud. It felt like it was right above us," said Aimee Loesch.

Clean-up crews were hard at work Thursday. They say it could take days to clear the damage.

"It was scary, very scary," Aimee said.

The Loesch family is doing their own tree removal.

"We've been working on it since seven this morning just to get it this far," said Patrick Loesch.

They've got more than one to clear.

"I came running outside, saw the magnolia tree knocked over, ran inside screaming to my mom," Aimee described.

One of the trees now sits in the driveway on top of two cars, including their classic 1980 Datsun 280ZX.

"It's really sad to think [about] that car. It couldn't be a Ford Focus. It had to be that one," Patrick said.

"This is Texas. I'm not surprised at anything," added Bennie Ellis.

Ellis says after seeing his neighbors' homes, he feels lucky.

"I was looking out the window, and I saw my neighbor's mailbox out here in the street," he said.

In fact, he plans on putting some ripped out trees and branches to good use.

"One of our neighbors wants the wood for her fire place, so we're going to accommodate her with that," Ellis laughed.

Ellis and his neighbors say they're trying to look on the bright side.

"It could have been worse, could have gotten our house, so I guess we're blessed in that way," Aimee said.

"The winds probably came just tearing down this street and hit the first big tree," said Kevin Bulla with Bo Masters Trees.

Bulla says the prolonged drought made it easy to rip the roots right out of the ground.

"Any kind of stress can weaken the trees root system or the tree in general," Bulla said. "It's impossible to replace a 200-year-old Red Oak. So I would put trees as a priority above grass or smaller plants."

Bulla suggests keeping your trees well watered with a little compost. He also says you can work seaweed into your watering schedule, which is good for the trees during drought.

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