One neighborhood’s story: Whittier and the big storms


Uprooted trees, smashed cars and downed power lines marked the path of weekend storms that battered the Twin Cities. On June 22, South Minneapolis residents in the Whittier neighborhood told storm stories as trees still lay across streets, sidewalks, cars and homes in the blocks at 24th and Lyndale and 25th and Garfield. 

Power was still out in some Minneapolis homes and businesses on June 24.  Minneapolis Public announced that power was still out at Broadway High School at Longfellow and that the Tuesday, June 25 summer school classes at that location were canceled. Power had been restored at the other summer school locations by the end of day on June 23. 

The City of Minneapolis issued this advice about tree contractors:

Tree contractors

Since there are so many downed trees in yards throughout the city, many residents will be looking for a contractor to take care of the problem. It’s important to make sure the tree company you use is licensed, because unlicensed companies may not be insured for damage they might cause to your property, and their workers may not be properly trained to protect themselves and your property from damage. Here are some things residents should know when choosing a tree company:

  • To find out if a tree service contractor is licensed in Minneapolis, look at this list on the City’s website.
  • A licensed contractor must submit a copy of a written estimate to the property owner for approval prior to any work to be performed.
  • Licensed Tree Service contractors have marked vehicles and display a City of Minneapolis license decal.
  • Licensed Tree Service contractors maintain insurance in the event of damage to your property, your neighbors’ property, or if anyone is injured on the job site.

The city also said Park Board crews will collect tree debris that is brought to the boulevard on July 1-12 — but only for tree debris from the storm, not for construction materials or pruning. 

In St. Paul, the city said that all streets had been cleared by Sunday afternoon, and that only two of the 26 trees that fell on homes were still waiting to be removed. The city press release said St. Paul residents should put tree debris on the boulevard for pick-up by June 28, and that Ramsey County compost and yard waste sites would operate with extended hours — see for schedule. St. Paul also offered advice on tree contractors:

Hiring a Commercial Tree Service:

  • Performing tree work, especially in response to storm damage, can be extremely dangerous and it is recommended to hire a reputable firm for this work.
  • Commercial tree services for hire working within Saint Paul are required by ordinance to be licensed by the City of Saint Paul. Please ask to see their license credentials. Also note that the vehicles of a licensed contractor should have a current license decal from the City of Saint Paul.
  • A licensed tree service is insured and better trained to protect themselves and your property from damage.
  • In addition, the City of Saint Paul requires that each tree service company hire at least one employee who has a current certification as an arborist in urban forestry or arboriculture. This helps to ensure the company is educated in plant health, pests and pathogen control, and other aspects of urban forestry.
  • To find a list of currently licensed tree service companies working in Saint Paul, please call the Department of Safety and Inspections at 651-266-8989.