Tyler homeowners get random help from neighbors, strangers in storm cleanup

With thousands of trees and limbs down across Tyler, cleanup may be a back-breaking process, unless your neighbors decide not to let you do it alone.
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 6:30 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In the aftermath of the East Texas ice storm comes the process of cleaning up. With thousands of trees and limbs down across Tyler, it may be a back-breaking process, unless of course your East Texas neighbors decide not to let you do it alone.

Around Fifth Street, near TJC, the familiar sound of chainsaws was heard as broken limbs and debris were cleared away. For homeowners, this is a tedious process and one that some are not able to do.

“We came out this morning and started to cut up limbs,” said homeowners Debra and Randall Pickett.

Crews from Pike in Forth Worth have been working in two shifts over the last four days, trying to restore power as quickly as they can, moving from block to block.

“It’s tough. Don’t get off for two more hours,” one worker said.

For some Tyler homeowners, help came from unexpected sources.

“I saw a truck drive by with a trailer on it. The driver had four crews out going all around Tyler, and he said, ‘Can I help?’ I said, ‘How much?’ And, he said, ‘Nothing!’ And, he said, ‘Free.’ And, I said, ‘No, you can’t do that,’ and he said, ‘I will,’” Debra said.

Others who had been without power themselves were helping their neighbors clean up.

“We didn’t have any wood to carry because our yard wasn’t messed up, so we decided to help someone else,” said David Hamilton.

For the Picketts, a lasting memory has been made, not of ice but of a random act of kindness.

“I got some money, went to give it to him and he said, ‘No, I don’t want it. I want to do this because people need help right now,’” Randall said.

The City of Tyler will pick up debris provided it is bundled and weighs no more than 50 pounds.

The Picketts said the young man also told them he would come back and help them remove the debris from their curbside, if the city would not pick it up.