In January 1998, an ice storm in the northeastern United States caused millions of damage to acres of lumber-producing trees. Hit especially hard was Maine which had damage totals of 11 million acres of trees. All 16 counties were declared disaster areas.
When there is a major icing event, trees that become coated with ice can become damaged. Trees suffer loss of branches, uprooting and trunk breakage. When trees lose their branches, fungi can enter through the wound and cause the trunk of the tree to decay. The subsequent death and loss of the trees can impact the income of lumber mills.
"We had to close the business for three days," said Richard Tarr, co-owner of the Lapointe Lumber Company. "We also had no power at our home for ten days."
Tarr also said that most of the tree loss that was suffered by his business were the result of trees losing major branches.
After the 1998 storm, the federal government allowed businesses that suffered losses to claim the loss on their 1997 income tax forms, according to Extension.unh.edu.
Tree loss is determined either by the decrease in their fair market value, or by their value as a total loss measured by ton, cord or Measured Board Feet.
Ice storms caused a yearly average of 10 fatalities, 528 injuries, and $380 million in other damages between 1990 and 1994, according to the NWS.
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