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How to protect your home from trees in severe weather

With severe weather approaching late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, here are a few tips to help you stay prepared.

AUSTIN, Texas — Two children in East Texas died last weekend after a tree fell on their car during the storms.

To help you protect your home during stormy weather, KVUE talked to certified arborist Mike Suarez with Sid Mourning Tree Service.

Suarez said to take the weight off the extended branches of the trees.

“You want to thin the canopy a little bit,” he said. “Because the canopy is what catches the wind and twists the branches around."

He said hackberry trees, elms and pecans are the most likely to fail. Suarez said trees that have U-shaped branch unions are less likely to fall than if they are V-shaped.

Credit: KVUE
Prepare for severe weather.

RELATED: Timing for Wednesday's severe weather threat in Central Texas

“Basically, any rope that you would entrust your life to if you would run it through the gap will probably be OK," said Suarez. "So the stronger the gap, the stronger the joint is going to be."

Next, check the roots.

“You can tell, they’ll either look healthy but if they're bad, they'll look dark and mushy," said Suarez.

He said that the signs of a tree at risk will show up primarily in the canopy.

KVUE also talked to the City of Austin's Watershed Department about what it is doing to prevent creeks and streams from flooding onto roads.

“We have crews that go and look at all the potential sites that [have] flooded in the past,” said Ramesh Swaminathan, Austin Watershed Department interim assistant director. “We go and take a look at them.”

City crews have gone out to clear brush and debris from drainage sites. They went to Arroyo Seco earlier this week, among several other locations. Crews will also be on standby.

And, of course, officials ask you to be extra careful driving.

“If you're in the middle of the night and you don't know exactly if there's enough water, turn around because it's just not worth it," said Swaminathan.


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