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'It's worth the wait' | Fallen trees, roof repair can be extremely dangerous

You may remember sadly in Hurricane Laura in Southwest Louisiana there were people, even a teen girl, who lost their lives because of fallen trees.

NEW ORLEANS — And around the New Orleans metro area today, the number one cause of damage in the aftermath of Zeta was fallen trees, then roof damage.

It was 8 o'clock Wednesday night. Three roommates in Old Metairie were riding out Hurricane Zeta. Then something happened.

“I was just watching movies right in my room and it was big ole crash and I knew instantaneously,” Joel Allen said. 

Part of a water oak crushed the house. With rain pouring in, they moved the furniture and did something risky, put a tarp on the roof.

“I could feel the roof move under my feet, so I just had to be really careful and it was really windy and raining of course, but yeah it was scary,” said Bryce Ballina, one of Allen’s roommates.

Louisiana Tree Company said the phone started ringing at 1 a.m. and has not stopped.

“We're slammed right now,"  said Rob Meyer, an arborist with Louisiana Tree Company. "It's worth the wait. Just wait. Don't do it yourself because you know that's the highest fatality around. A lot of homeowners want to get on a ladder and do it themselves. That's when insurance policies kick in for the wife That's why they have certain things called widow makers in trees."

Meyer says most likely insurance will not pay for tree damage that did not hit the house.

And when it comes to roofs, losing shingles was one of the biggest concerns.

“That's probably what's happened to a lot of these shingles, the adhesive doesn't bond any more and the wind just rip it right off, said Tony Chai of Rent-A-Man Home Repair Service.

He says you'll most likely have to pay out of pocket because of insurance deductibles. After 25 years in the business, he says do your homework.

“Probably a good idea to have a couple of estimates. I'm sure you might know someone or a neighbor might know someone that actually does roof repair or replace,” Chai said.

Make sure who you hire has insurance, liability and is bonded.

For now he says, a blue tarp will protect your home before it can be repaired.

And for trees and roofs, know there may be a wait and extra costs.

“Economic teacher tells me it's supply and demand, right? You have a big demand for us. Three months ago we weren't in that big of a demand right? Now everybody needs us. We're diamonds," Meyer said.

Download the app from the LDAF on your phone. There you can check credentials, workman's comp, general liability, if the person is a current arborist and not an out of state group coming in town, because you have to be a local licensed arborist, according to Meyer.

Download the LDAF app for your iPhone or Android devices here.

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