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Nearly 15% of city trees damaged or destroyed

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(KWMU file photo/Tom Weber)

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The head of the St. Louis parks department says the severe thunderstorms two weeks ago damaged or destroyed about 15% of the city's trees.

Parks director Gary Bess says 26,000 city trees were affected. There are about 130,000 total-both in parks and along streets.

He says there is plenty of work left to do: "Right now we've got 20 private tree crews, and eight city tree crews working 12 hours a day in order to go through the city and look for those potential hazards and get them out."

Bess says not all the problems are obvious, because some damaged tree limbs could take awhile to turn brown.

Cleanup just of trees in the city could cost more than $1 million.

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