Neighbors need help with debris cleanup after strong storms in northern Guilford County

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- The roads are clear in northern Guilford County, but many yards remain a mess from heavy storm damage early Friday morning.

People who live on Whipple Trail spent all weekend cleaning up what they could, but they don't know where to go from here.

"A mess. Everybody was working, sun up to sun down," Ron McCormick said.

Now, neighbors are asking for help with clean up, in whatever way they can get it.

"The county and the DOT, they stop at State Road 150, and as far as any type of debris removal, they leave it up to the property owner," Robert Smith said.

Right now, their options are to clean it up themselves or hire a company to do the leg work. But homeowners say these tangled trees are too dangerous to tackle without professional help.

Hiring the pros comes with a big price tag.

"Neighbors are getting bids of over $10,000 just to have these massive tree structures and root balls taken off of their property," Smith said.

Neighbors are worried they won't be able to get the money together before another storm hits, possibly causing more damage and danger to people nearby.

"We had one [tree] come down yesterday over here," McCormick said. "There's more coming down over here. It just a question of the wind."

FOX8 talked to Guilford County Emergency Services on the phone. They said they don't help with clean up on homeowners' properties.

On the state level, people affected by storms can apply for "individual assistance." The program works through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

But there's no guarantee these people will get help with cleanup, since the damage is to their properties and not their homes.

"But now all of our neighbors are stuck," Smith said. "It's hard times. These are middle class, working people that pay their insurance premium, that pay their county taxes."

"Kids would be safe, animals would be safe, life would be good," McCormick said. "It wouldn't look as pretty, but it will eventually get back to it."

Other agencies that can provide help for families include the Red Cross and United Way. If you dial 211, a United Way operator can help refer you to services and resources in your area.

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