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‘The whole place shook’: Tree removal companies have heavy demand after Zeta
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Gainesville High head baseball coach Adam Miller's family moved to the ground floor of their Park Hill Place home about an hour before a large tree crashed through his son's bedroom during last week's storm. - photo by Scott Rogers

Adam Miller and his wife, Leslie Miller, woke up around 4:45 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, and moved the family to the basement of their Gainesville home as Hurricane Zeta raged outside. 

He heard the wind swirling around 5:30 a.m. before a crack and a thud. 

"The whole place shook,” said Adam Miller, who is the head baseball coach for Gainesville High. “Obviously at that point, we knew that it had at least landed on the house and had possibly come through. It was pretty scary." 

A tree had crashed through their 15-year-old son’s bedroom. 

"There's a higher power at play to help us to have the idea to first of all wake up and then to move everybody down there,” Adam Miller said. “Honestly, that's a God thing more than it is a thing that we control. We're thankful for that, extremely thankful, and just knowing how much worse it could have been than it turned out to be." 

The tree was removed on Friday, and the family is staying with friends and expect to be in a rental for a little while.  

Tree removal businesses in Gainesville have reported a heavy demand for their work in the week since Hurricane Zeta swept through the Southeast. 

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A tree crashed through the bedroom of a Gainesville home Thursday, Oct. 29, following Hurricane Zeta. Adam Miller said the family was in the basement when the tree fell. Provided by Adam Miller

Jason Head, owner of Head Tree Service and Landscaping, said the demand went from one or two calls a day to several per day, with roughly 15 calls on Thursday. 

"We've pulled nothing but trees off houses non-stop and still doing it,” Justin West, owner of Heaven’s Gate Tree Service, said on Tuesday. “It's been a disaster." 

West said he estimates roughly $80,000-$100,000 in tree services sold in roughly three days, while an average week is around $20,000. 

“I feel awful for some of the people as we usually do a charity event once a month (for) the people who can’t afford tree service,” West said, as they usually do about $3,500 in free tree service. 

Some of the hardest hit areas have been off Browns Bridge Road, Ga. 53 toward Dawsonville and near Lake Ranch Drive among others, West said.  

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Gainesville High head baseball coach Adam Miller's family moved to the ground floor of their Park Hill Place home about an hour before a large tree crashed through his son's bedroom during last week's storm. - photo by Scott Rogers
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