From a news story about Hurricane Gustav:
Before [Melissa Lee] left, she heard neighbors chopping down trees with chain saws, trying to ensure the tall pines that surrounded their homes wouldn't come crashing down.
Source: "Coast empties as Gustav nears: Evacuation hits 1.9 million in Louisiana alone" by Stacey Plaisance and Becky Bohrer, Associated Press, published in The Courier Journal, Monday, September 1, 2008.
Chopping down trees with chain saws, eh? Usually, people start a chain saw's motor and cut down the trees. If they are determined to chop down the trees, they get an ax.
Maybe it's written the way people talk in Louisiana. I know we say some funny things here -- such as "carrying the kids to school." If that phrase ever appeared in a news story, it would definitely look strange.
My fuss about chopping vs. cutting is much ado about nothing. It is very sad that people were cutting down their trees to keep them from falling in the storm. That's what really matters.