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Wind Advisory Poses Danger for Local Tree Trimmers

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MCALLEN – Monday’s winds are causing problems for some Rio Grande Valley businesses.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke with a tree trimmer, Juan Guajardo, about the dangers they face on windy days.

He said on days similar to Monday’s weather there are certain precautions you must take or it could end costly.

"It feels scary because, especially if we are working on palm trees, they have the tendency to swing and even though we are secure with a harness and pikes, it still feels scary," he said. 

Guajardo said he's no stranger to heights. For the past five years, he has trimmed trees across the Valley.

"Palm trees, we take them down, we clean them that's our job," he said. 

He said gusts of wind pose their own dangers.

"When the tree is too high and the wind is like it is today, the only thing we can do is wait, sometimes later or sometimes the next day," said Guajardo.

The winds are much different at the top of a tree versus near the ground.

When the wind travels across the ground it deals with a lot of friction. It passes through buildings, obstacles and trees. But the higher you go the less of those you have to deal with making it flow a lot stronger.

These strong winds are not only dangerous to those cutting them but for those down below.

"We were cutting the top part of a palm tree, we were under the impression it would fall straight down. The wind ended up carrying it away, and to my luck fell on my vehicle," said Guajardo.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS stopped by the First Warn 5 Tracking Center to learn why the winds are picking up.

"Well, it's getting into springtime weather patterns for us. When we get into spring it tends to get windy. We get big upper-level trough digging into the western part of the country and with that, you get a surface low that pulls air in," said KRGV Chief Meteorologist Tim Smith.

Guajardo said with strong winds expected this week, he's going to be keeping his eye on the forecast.

He said whenever wind speeds reach 40 miles per hour, he chooses to reschedule tree trimming for safety reasons.

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