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Jul 16, 2013 10:11 PM by Samantha Ptashkin

Rita Ranch residents clean up after storm knocks down trees

TUCSON, AZ.- The sound of saws echoed through Rita Ranch on Tuesday, as landscapers cut down fallen trees. On Monday afternoon wind gusts of up to 60 mph, as well as rain and hail wreaked havoc on the neighborhood.

"The hail came in when the wind was blowing one direction and then the rain melted the hail instantly," says Resident Rachael Franzen. "It was weird it was crazy!"

Franzen's front yard took a hit when the winds uprooted her tree. "It was just so quick we didn't really have a chance to react," Franzen says.

And she was not alone.

Across the neighborhood there are downed trees around every corner, covering front yards. "I've been in this neighborhood several years and I've only seen this a few times," Franzen says.

The damage put landscapers like Rick Keil, of Transformers Landscaping, to work all day long. "This monsoon has been pretty rough, so it has been more work than usual," Keil says.

He says if the trees are not removed, it can get dangerous. "We went to one guy's house this morning where the tree came down and ripped his roof off," Keil says. "The whole mess just weeded his house, it's just gone."

Resident Mike Heppler knows the feeling. He's still cleaning up from a bad storm that hit the area two weeks ago. The winds knocked a mesquite tree through a concrete fence, into his backyard. "It's annoying because I can't get the yard cleaned up," Heppler says.

Luckily there was no major damage to his house from either storm and he hopes it stays that way. "All the trees have blown over, so I'm safe," Heppler says with a smile.

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