Storm Damage to Public Trees and Infrastructure

When a severe storm occurs, the City of Saint Paul works hard to clear roadways and repair infrastructure to ensure the safety of our residents. Learn how to report these common storm damage occurrences:

Downed or Damaged Trees and Branches

How do I report a downed or damaged public tree?

If you see a boulevard or park tree that is down, leaning, has broken branches, hanging limbs, or any defects you perceive to be unsafe, please report it to Saint Paul Forestry at 651-266-6400 Monday - Friday, 7:30am-4:30pm, or Be ready to provide the address for the tree and the nearest cross street. For after hours emergencies, such as a downed tree blocking a roadway, contact 651-266-9700.

Trees that are damaged may be in contact with an energized wire. Touching the tree or anything near it – such as a fence, puddle, car, etc. – can cause electricity to be transmitted through your body which could result in serious injury or death. If you suspect that a tree is in contact with an energized wire, stay away and call 911 to report the location of the tree.   

What should I do with downed trees or branches on my property?

Property owners are responsible for disposing of downed trees, branches, logs, stumps, or wood chips from trees on their property. Private property storm debris can be disposed at Ramsey County’s yard waste sites. You may also have a licensed tree care company remove tree debris. Note: On occasion, if a severe storm creates an extraordinary large amount of tree debris, the Mayor of Saint Paul may declare an emergency and give special instructions to help you get rid of your private debris. If an emergency is declared, more information will be posted here with instructions assisting property owners.

When can I expect to see downed or damaged trees and branches removed?

Removal times are vary based on the amount of storm damage citywide and the priority of the damaged tree or branch. When severe storms knock over or damage public trees, Saint Paul Forestry responds with the following priorities:

  1. Clear tree debris from areas with life threatening situations and/or search and rescue missions. 
  2. Clear tree debris within the immediate vicinity of all major emergency response centers.
  3. Streets near power corridors will be cleared of debris to facilitate the restoration of power to those locations. The restoration of power is done at the discretion of Xcel Energy.
  4. Clear tree debris from major arterial streets.
  5. Clear tree debris from residential streets.
  6. Remove trees made dangerous due to storm damage.
  7. Remove trees on structures.
  8. Clear tree debris from alley ways.
  9.  Remove destroyed but non-threatening trees.
  10.  Clear tree debris in parks.
  11.  Remove less threatening hanging limbs.
  12. Stumps left over from storm damaged trees are typically removed in the next calendar year after the storm.

Signs, Traffic Signals, Street Lights, or Parking Meters in Need of Repair

How do I report damage to public signs, traffic signals, street lights, or parking meters?

To report damaged signs, traffic signals, street lights, or parking meters, call Saint Paul Public Works at 651-266-9777,  Monday - Friday,  8:00am-4:30pm. For after hours emergencies, such as a downed street light pole, call 651-266-9700.

How do I report damage to alley lights?

Alley lights are installed and maintained by Xcel Energy at the request of adjacent property owners. It is up to the adjacent owners to arrange for alley lights directly with Xcel Energy and to pay the cost of installation, maintenance and operation. For alley light problems or installation call Xcel Energy at 800-960-6235.

When can I expect damaged signs to be repaired?

The type, location, and quantity of signs reported as a concern will be evaluated for potential response.  Based on available resources and other ongoing priorities, signs will be replaced/re-installed at the earliest practical opportunity.  Overall response will be based on a prioritized order that most reasonably addresses public safety concerns.   

When can I expect damaged street lights to be repaired? 

For general power outages where there is no damage to infrastructure, the normal maintenance response is to solely dependent on Xcel Energy’s ability to restore power to the area.  When infrastructure damage is involved, Traffic Operations personnel will be dispatched to the location on an as needed basis to mitigate the hazard.      

Downed Power Lines or Electrical Wires

How do I report a downed power line or electrical wire?

Steer clear of any downed wires; even if they appear safe, they may still pose a danger. Call 911 to report downed wires.

Where can I find a list of licensed electrical contractors?

If you are hiring an electrical contractor, make sure they are reputable. Visit the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry website for a list of licensed electrical contractors. Choose “Business” and then select “ELECTRICAL” and  “CLASS A.”

Power Outages

How do I report a power outage?

In the event of an electrical outage, call Xcel Energy's electrical outage line at 800-895-1999.

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Last Edited: January 19, 2023