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Fallen tree closed road near Funkstown for hours

June 25, 2008|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

HAGERSTOWN -- A fallen tree closed a portion of East Oak Ridge Drive for several hours Tuesday, detouring traffic and knocking out power and telephone service to some residents along the road.

The tree, which was between 3 and 4 feet in diameter, fell across East Oak Ridge Drive south of Oak Ridge Place around 9:30 a.m., Washington County Public Works Director Joseph Kroboth II said.

When it fell, the tree took down telephone wires and two utility poles. The tree also split before falling, and the portion of the tree that did not fall leaned over a nearby house.

Kroboth said crews were called in to cut down that part of the tree so it did not fall on the house.

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Section Supervisor Zane Rowe said the tree seemed to have fallen due to age and deterioration.

Peggy Davis, who lives at 422 E. Oak Ridge Drive just north of where the tree fell, said she heard the tree "creaking" just before 9 a.m.

"It made a little bit of noise and then it just fell," Davis said. "It just missed a UPS truck driving by."

Washington County Highway Department crews closed the road before 10 a.m. from Jeter Paving to the stone-arch bridge in Funkstown.

Traffic on the north side of the bridge was rerouted to Sharpsburg Pike and Wilson Boulevard. Traffic on the Funkstown side of the bridge was not affected.

The road reopened just before 6 p.m., Kroboth said.

Allegheny Power spokesman Todd Meyers said 23 customers in the area were out of power Tuesday afternoon.

Meyers said the tree pulled down two utility poles when it fell.

He said power was expected to be restored by about 6 p.m., after Allegheny Power installed new utility poles.

Verizon trucks were on the scene Tuesday morning but officials from the company could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

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