CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Damage from severe weather can mean costly repairs once the storm is over, but there are things you can do to prepare.
Public works crews with cities in the Heartland and tree trimming services were preparing Friday ahead of severe weather Saturday.
Those workers are encouraging you to pitch in around your house so the heavy rain and strong winds has less of an impact.
Several two-man crews were clearing debris from ditches and creek crossings in Cape Girardeau.
The goal is to limit the potential for flash flooding and Public Works Director Stan Polivick says you can help.
"30 minutes worth of investment of your time it may be worth tens of thousands of dollars in problems avoided," Polivick said. “Look for things that could blow away and could get clogged in a ditch. Make sure the curb inlets and flat grates in front of your house are clear so the water can get away and not be building up in front of your property and possibly flood you garage, your house, your basement."
Tony Troendle owns Advanced Tree Service and he helps dozens of people remove trees before and after they fall and expects to receive close to 100 phone calls if winds get up to 70 miles per hour Saturday.
"We've worked several hurricanes, ice storms, all sorts of natural disasters and we've seen several trees as small as 14 to 18 inches inside of living rooms and that is a picture you don't forget," Troendle said.
If you’re concerned about one of your trees, Troendle suggests looking for termite damage, broken branches and any signs the roots are failing.
"You know your yard better than anybody and you notice that all of a sudden there is a little hump around that tree it can even be 10 to 15 feet away,” Troendle said. “That is the root structure trying to give way and that could lead to the tree falling over even days after the storm, so if you notice something like that call an arborist. We will come out and have a look for free."
Both Troendle and the City of Cape are hoping for drier weather next week so they clean up storm damage using their heavy equipment.