Florence cleanup may cause delays to funerals at Wilmington cemetery

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Oakdale Cemetery sees significant damage from Hurricane Florence. (Photo: WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Tree companies have had their work cut out of them all over the Cape Fear including at Oakdale Cemetery, where about 200 trees were damaged.

Cemetery Superintendent Eric Kozen says the cemetery will remained closed until Saturday as about 125 trees are removed completely and others are trimmed.

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Kozen says the longest delay for any funeral would be a day or two as crews work in certain areas of the cemetery. About 25 or 30 headstones were damaged by falling trees and will have to be repaired.

“We will probably be contacting a lot of the lot owners or families if there are any descendants still available,” Kozen said. “If not, we’re gonna probably have to rely upon donations and contributions from not only lot owners, but hopefully the community abroad.”

Kozen says the city of Wilmington identified heritage trees in the cemetery and none of those went down in the hurricane.

There had been a plan to plant about 300 trees in the cemetery, but Kozen says that number may increase.