Crews cleaning up after weekend storm damage in the Triad

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Crews were busy with cleanup after storms rolled through Hamilton Lakes on Sunday night. Paul Sparrell's backyard was wrecked after a neighbor's tree fell, crashing through power lines.

“It was just unbelievable. It was like looking at a war zone. It was really incredible,” Sparrell said. “Like a bomb went off in it.”

Sparrell's home was spared from any serious damage, but he says the tree flattened a picnic table and his outside furniture.

Ruth Messmer said Sunday's storm split a tree in their yard as well, but that the limbs fell away from the home. She said she heard strong rain, but had no idea that the storm was so powerful.

“We’re just lucky, very fortunate that the damage was contained,” she said.

Bill Lyon, a certified arborist with Bill's Tree Service, said his crews were busy cleaning up branches and fallen trees. He said recent dry conditions may be to blame for the damage.

"The inside moisture dries up so they’re more susceptible to limbs breaking if we do get some rain, because that rain adds a little bit of weight to the branches,” he said.

Lyon said homeowners may be tempted to do some of the work themselves, but he recommends calling a professional.

“Tree work is very dangerous,” he said. “You can create more of a hazard by trying to do it yourself.”

Lyon said it takes years to learn how to cut properly and homeowners may create more problems themselves.

“Normally you would look at the way the branches are leaning, that’s the way the tree is going to fall. Even though the trunk might be leaning in another direction, the branches have the leverage so they’re going to pull the tree pretty much in that direction,” he said.

He said if homeowners decide to do the work themselves, they should make sure they have proper safety gear at all times.