Life has returned almost entirely to normal in the wake of the historic ice storms that left Canby and some surrounding areas without power for as long as two weeks in February.
But while the power and water are flowing again, the cell networks are back to normal, and it’s possible to walk under most trees without glancing fearfully upward, obvious signs of the destruction remain.
Even now, more than two months after the storms, piles of large limbs and other debris are a common sight at apartment complexes and in other neighborhoods.
Canby resident Molly Tibbals and her husband, City Councilor Jordan Tibbals, noticed as well — and they decided to do something about it.
“After driving around Canby, we saw several homes, townhouses, and apartment complexes that still had trees throughout their yard,” Councilor Tibbals said.
They reasoned that the residents in those neighborhoods might still need help digging out from the storm, whether because they aren’t physically capable or lacked the tools necessary to chop up fallen limbs — or couldn’t afford to hire someone to do it for them.
And, in some rental situations, it may not always be clear whose responsibility it is to perform such maintenance and clean-up.
“Either way, we knew there was a need there, and it would take people to step up in our community to help them out,” Tibbals said. “After we briefly discussed it at our City Council meeting (Councilor Sarah Spoon had mentioned it as an issue as well), Molly and I figured, ‘Why not us?'”
For many other residents, the storms had brought a different need into sharp relief: a supply of plentiful, seasoned firewood to weather the winter without needing to always rely on electric heat.
It was a math problem that was easy to solve — if only someone could bridge the gap between those who need firewood for next winter — and those who have way more than they could ever want.
Tibbals started making calls Thursday, the day after he had first floated the idea at the April 8 Canby City Council meeting, to see if he could pull together the volunteers and truck/trailer fleet needed to pull something like this off.
He found willing hands — and chainsaws.
“The majority of our group are men and women that I have met either in our current or previous church,” Tibbals said. “Most of them live in Canby with the exception of a couple of my close friends who are coming from other cities to pitch in.
“The common bond among all the volunteers is that we are followers of Jesus, who calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and this was an opportunity to do that.”
The Canby “Wood Chuck” event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24.
If you need help from volunteers to remove fallen trees, limbs and other debris from your property, contact the Tibbalses at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, and please include your name, phone number, address and a brief description of the size and scope of work.
For those who need free firewood, head straight to Wait Park, where ax crews will be working throughout the day.
Anyone interested in volunteering or lending equipment to the effort should also contact the email addresses above.
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