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Tree fall blocks Hopewell Rd.

Traffic tied up in p.m. snarl, no injuries

Capt. Russ Scanlon, foreground, and Fire Apparatus Operator Alex Fortner inspect the damage left by the fallen oak. HATCHER HURD. (click for larger version)

A 65-foot oak tree lies across Hopewell Road, forcing commuters to find a different route into Cherokee County. HATCHER HURD. (click for larger version)
November 07, 2012
MILTON, Ga. A 150-year-old oak tree fell across Hopewell Road around 3 p.m. Oct. 29, tying up traffic for hours, but no one was injured.

There was an accident after the tree fell when cars had to suddenly slow down just north of the Manor subdivision entrance, but no injuries were reported there.

The tree weighing several tons also sheared off a power line pole, leaving some people without power. Capt. Russ Scanlon of the Milton Fire Department Engine No. 42 said they set up an emergency generator for one house that lost power for a resident who was on an oxygen machine.

Scanlon blamed the tree fall on the drought.

"You could see many of the branches on this tree were dead, and the roots are dead also," he said.

High winds that day and the day before apparently finished it off. The tree pulled up only a little dirt with the root ball, so there was not much holding it in the ground.

"We were lucky in that we didn't get any rain with this wind to soften the ground, or we might have had more pine trees down," Scanlon said.

By the next morning, crews had cut back the fallen tree and traffic was proceeding normally.

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