Aiken resident Terry Peterson is one of many residents who weeded through several scam attempts and found a reliable tree service company to clean up his yard after last month's ice storm.
“Timber Tree Service has done a great job and they are extremely professional,” Peterson said. “They've worked with me really well and companies like them are cutting the time it will take to restore Aiken in half.”
Timber Tree Service – a company out of Asheville, N.C. – is a storm chaser that offers relief efforts after inclement weather sweeps through an area.
Aiken is still suffering from last month's ice storm that covered the area in 1.25 inches of ice and left broken limbs, branches and debris scattered throughout the county. The storm called for relief efforts, which brought companies like Timber to Aiken, along with other companies that overcharge for services.
Crew leader Benjamin Newton said the best method to prevent scams or being overcharged is to go with a company that is willing to do all of the work in a yard rather than breaking it up into individual services.
“Scam artists will say 'for $5,000, we'll take this tree, this tree and that tree down,' and they'll basically price all of the easy work,” Newton said. “For $5,000, we could probably have the whole job done. It's just a matter of being careful with who you're dealing with.”
Joyce Bethmann is another satisfied customer in the area. Fortunately, she did not encounter any scams in her search and just had to pick the most reasonable bid.
For her, the best choice was Good Ol Boys Tree Service – a disaster relief team out of Brandy Station, VA.
“I just want to identify these guys because they're doing such a tremendous job,” she said. “We had two oak trees and half a dozen pines go down in our yard. But they came out with a fair price and have carried every log and branch out of here.”
Sales representative Anthony Gallihugh and crew manager Anthony Smith said the company has a license to work in Aiken and has already serviced multiple homes. Gallihugh added that homeowners don't owe them until they are satisfied with their work.
“We watch the news to find damaged areas and we saw a situation where we could help out in Aiken,” he said. “Homeowners don't pay us a dime up front and we feel like that's the best way to do the job exactly how they want it done.”
Both companies have been in Aiken for more than two weeks in the aftermath of the ice storm. In addition to their services, the companies have hired local residents to help out.
Gallihugh added, “By hiring local help and essentially living in the city during our cleanup, we're helping the local economy in other ways by buying food and other necessities. It's just another way companies like ours are able to help out in relief efforts.”
Derrek Asberry is a beat reporter with the Aiken Standard. He joined the paper in June. He is originally from Vidalia, Ga., and a graduate of Georgia Southern University. Follow him on Twitter @DerrekAsberry.
Staff photo by Derrek Asberry Anthony Smith is a crew manager with Good Ol Boy Tree Service in Virginia. The company is of one of many who has been doing disaster relief work here in Aiken.×
Staff photo by Derrek Asberry Crew leader Benjamin Newton climbs a tree in to saw off some of the limbs. He is with Timber Tree service in North Carolina and has been in Aiken with a team of workers to help in the disaster relief effort.×