Residents growing frustrated with blocked streets

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee tree crews are still working throughout the city to reopen blocked streets.

They hope to reopen them all by the end of this weekend.

At Newhall and Belleview, two downed trees block both ends of the street, and one tree is still waiting for a power crew to come clear the lines and make it safe for trees crews to clear the dead wood.

"I would have liked to have had some answers and those were a little bit wanting," said resident Aaron Cleavland.

He said it's been a frustrating week living between two downed trees.

"I know it's a complicated situation, a lot is going on, we're more than willing to wait, but to know what's happening, I think is very important," said Cleavland.

"I've never seen this many trees down at once," said 3rd District Alderman Nik Kovac.

He said the city is working as hard as it can with a limited number of tree crews to clear the city's streets. But he said We Energies is not communicating when power lines snarled in trees have been turned off and cleared.

"They don't even tell our own crews if there is electricity in that wire, and then once they do do it, they don't tell us they did it," said Kovac.

"If this were an F5 tornado that came through the middle of the city, everybody would understand why this is taking so long," said Milwaukee Fire Chief Aaron Lipski.

He said the city and We Energies are working together but are stretched thin.

"My wife and I have an 18-month-old son, he had to go to grandma's just to stay out of the heat, but we bought all this food for him, it's a waste," said resident Micah Meyer.

His block at 9th and Madison still looks like a battlefield. Power crews were surveying the damage Friday afternoon, but residents are running out of patience.

"It's not Hurricane Katrina, but what happens if a thing like that arises, who is there for us? Because two trees seems to have them stymied," said Cleavland.

Milwaukee's Public Works Department said it's working 24 hours a day clearing trees.

They'll be working through the weekend as well, both opening streets and picking up debris.

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