(WPRI) -- First there was Tropical Storm Irene, then there was Hurricane Sandy. Sandy battered parts of South County much worse than Irene did, and inland, Sandy caused less tree damage and power outages.
Eyewitness News sought to find out if there was any truth to the theory that Irene cleared out the weaker trees last year, making Sandy's impact less severe.
"I think that Irene's storm winds were a little stronger, and it probably did clean things out," said tree expert Clement Dejardin.
Dejardin, who on Friday was on a clean-up job in Newport, stressed that this theory is only part of the story. It also has to do with the weaker inland winds from Sandy, and a wind direction that was more from the Northeast.
"I think that what was exposed in this storm were different trees, and that's why we see the damage that we do," he added.
Expert Chris Fletcher agrees that Irene and other previous storms may have helped get rid of the weaker trees. He also says that many other factors played a role, including the fact that Hurricane Sandy was a fall storm, meaning less leaves for the wind to grab on to. Although, that still doesn't explain everything.
"The strange thing is that we have hazardous trees that did not go down, we have trees that are in perfect condition which did go down. So when it comes to hurricanes, all bets are off," he said.
For more information between Hurricane Sandy and Tropical Storm Irene, check out our Weather Blog.
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