Reporter: Shelley Basinger l Videojournalist: Ira Quillen
Lynchburg, VA – Tree service companies are responding as quickly as they can to neighborhoods across our area.
Donnie Ray with Ray's Tree Services was supposed to be on vacation this week. But don't feel too bad for him. He says the sweltering heat and the roar of equipment is his oasis.
"I love doing tree work, and the minute that I hear a tree is down... I'm gone! I don't want to eat, I don't want to sleep, I just want to get the trees!" said Ray.
So he and his crew took off following Friday's storm when the calls started rolling in and business quickly picked up.
"I've been getting one call every 5 to 10 minutes. I've got about six pages full of people I haven't gotten to yet," said Ray.
Near his work site on Cranehill Drive, another tree crew was also putting in some very long hours.
"Maybe before sunup until after sundown," said Tim Hullett with Paul Bunyan's Tree Service.
Hullett and his staff are in the Hill City from Roanoke. He says the damage they've seen has been terrible.
"So far, there have been no deaths. We're very lucky. You can rebuild a house and plant another tree, but you can't bring somebody back," said Hullett.
Ray is looking on the bright side too. There are more perks to this job than just making a profit.
"I'm not only helping myself, I'm helping the homeowner too. And I try to be a blessing for everyone," said Ray.
Both of these tree companies say they are responding to the most critical cases first, like trees that landed directly on homes. They are asking everyone to be patient.
Business will likely be steady for the next couple of months.