Village officials are now working to replace many of these trees, and on Aug. 7, Duke Energy presented village officials with a $10,000 check to use for tree replacement.
“We are so grateful that Duke recognized the need for these trees,” Linda Carter, vice mayor of the village and chairman of the tree committee, said. “Because it really affects us.”
Carter said the village lost nearly 200 trees during the tornado on village-owned property alone.
“That’s not counting residents’ trees,” she said.
Carter said the village was nicely wooded before the tornado.
“They took out so many semi (trucks) full of mulch where they had ground up the trees,” Carter said. “You just can’t imagine unless you were watching.”
Carter said replacing trees will help the town begin to look like normal again and said trees are important for more than just beauty.
“It affects our temperature and our erosion and noise level,” Carter said. “It is a big difference.”
Carter said replacing the trees is a difficult task, especially because many of the trees lost during the tornado were large, mature trees.
“When you can lay across a stump you know how old they were,” she said about the trees. “It has just been a big loss. It would be a real boost in morale to have these big trees donated.”
Carter said while they can’t replace the trees that took years and years to grow, they would still like to put in trees that are older than saplings and will make a difference in the village.
“We are wanting (trees) two inches in diameter, six to eight feet tall,” she said. “Something that would make an impact now and in the spring.”
Carter said the donation from Duke Energy will enable the village to get a good start on their tree replacement plan.
“It meant so much to us,” Carter said about the donation. “We want to have a variety of trees in town. (The donation) means we can purchase the trees we don’t get.”
Sally Thelen, spokesperson for Duke Energy, said many employees who work at the Zimmer Generating Station in Moscow also live or have family members who live in the village.
“It’s important for us to give back to the community where we all live and work,” Thelen said. “We think this is a great way to support them coming back and thriving again.”
Thelen said they felt that the $10,000 donation was a significant amount to begin the effort of replacing hundreds of trees in the village.
“To us the more we can make the village look like it did before March 2 we feel the community can begin the healing process,” Thelen said.
Carter said the village is looking for more donations to continue the tree replacement. She said they would like to replace around 200 trees this year, and continue next year as well.
“We are trying to get enough donations to replace the street trees that will ultimately affect everyone,” Carter said. “We hope to have enough over that amount so we can give (trees) to people to plant on their property.”
Carter said they are accepting both tree donations and monetary donations to fund the replacement trees.
She said they are planning the first round of tree plantings for Sept. 13-15 in the village. To volunteer to help plant trees, or to make a donation, contact Susan Jones at (513) 553-4200.