Downed tree poses safety hazard - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Downed tree poses safety hazard

February 8, 2005

Nashville - A huge oak tree snapped in half still lays beside the railroad tracks off North Mathis Street in Nashville. "It was sometime in October when the tree came down," said Rosalind Hobbs.

People who live nearby hated to see the old tree fall, but now there's a bigger issue. It's creating a safety hazard for people who cross over these railroad tracks. "I can't see around the corner," said Hobbs.

Since there aren't any crossing gates at these tracks, people have to stop and look to see if a train's coming. The tree is right in the middle of their view. "If a train was coming, we really wouldn't be able to see it unless he tooted the horn before he gets up here, if not, we just go across and that's a hazard," said Lillian Robinson.

When Rosalind Hobbs pulls up the the tracks, just a short section is visible and beyond that is a gamble. She's especially worried because the county elementary school is right around the corner. "The school buses pass by and they're not able to see around the tree," said Hobbs.

According to the Berrien Tax Commissioner's office, the land belongs to the city of Willacoochee but is maintained by Langboard Industries.  Railroad workers cleared some of the debris soon after the tree fell "They stopped to move the limbs off of the track," said Hobbs.

But now Hobbs and other people who travel through this area want the rest cleaned up before someone gets hurt.

The attorney for the city of Willacoochee says the city was unaware that the tree was down and they'll take proper procedures to make sure its cleaned up.

posted at 3:50 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com