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Storm Rips Out Rotted Trees

Posted to MichiganNow.org on Monday, November 18, 2013

Roadblocks are all over Detroit side streets this morning. Last night’s storm pulled down oaks, maples, elms, sycamores and others planted decades ago.

Fire and police are on scene when there are injuries or potential injuries.

On Euclid St. between Third Avenue and the Lodge Freeway a 2005 Ford Focus sits with a smashed windshield. It’s empty. But the passenger’s head may have slammed into the glass when the car hit a 30 inch diameter maple tree stretching across the pavement.

A Detroit firefighter said the 911 call came at 3:40 a.m. A woman who lives in front of the accident said the tree hit the road sometime between 9 and 10 last night. The tree is not lying on top of the car. The car’s front bumper is underneath the tree trunk and the hood is scrunched against the trunk. It looks as though the driver rammed into it when it was already down. Wind and rain can make it hard to see when driving.

This morning firefighters blew the firetruck’s horn whenever a pedestrian walked in the road near the car where a downed power line lay. No one wants injuries stemming from injuries.

Why do Detroit streets look so messy when the same wind gusts did less damage in the suburbs? Low-income means a lot of things. One is that homeowners and residents don’t have extra money to pay for long-term expenses. You may have noticed the tree has been rotting for a couple years, leaves don’t spring out from buds and bark peels off. But the money is not there to hire a chainsaw operator.

Municipalities in old, majority black cities have the biggest financial problems. They can’t keep enough or any tree service men and women on the job to cut down dead trees before they fall on people, cars, houses and power lines.

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Passenger side of windshield is cracked.

Passenger side of windshield is cracked.

Hundreds were blown down in last night's storm. Suburban trees are less prone to such damage. Both costs and risks go down when home owners and local governments can pay to remove rotten trees.

Hundreds were blown down in last night's storm. Suburban trees are less prone to such damage. Both costs and risks go down when home owners and local governments can pay to remove rotten trees.

Late model Ford Focus crashed on Euclid between 3rd Avenue and the Lodge Freeway. Photo taken 930 a.m. November 18, 2013.

Late model Ford Focus crashed on Euclid between 3rd Avenue and the Lodge Freeway. Photo taken 930 a.m. November 18, 2013.

Neighbors say the tree fell down at about 10 p.m. last night. City firefighters say they received a rescue call at 3:40 am. If the tree was down before the car was driving on this street then the driver had a chance to avoid hitting the tree.

Neighbors say the tree fell down at about 10 p.m. last night. City firefighters say they received a rescue call at 3:40 am. If the tree was down before the car was driving on this street then the driver had a chance to avoid hitting the tree.

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