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Toppled Tree Threatens Road; Police Say No Help With Cleanup

By: Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Jennifer Rizzi Email

ST. ALBANS, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Police and neighbors in St. Albans say there's a big problem hanging over their heads.

A tree in the 1300 block of Pennsylvania Ave. lies suspended over the road, threatening all traffic that passes through.

Police say it fell three days ago during a storm, and they can't find anyone to help clean it up.

"A little bit of preventative maintenance would be a lot better than waiting till it falls and someone getting hurt," Lt. Mark Burdette said. "Nobody seems to want to take responsibility for it. We're not sure exactly whose responsibility it is."

Burdette said the police department contacted AEP and the DOH about the problem, and both parties declined to take action.

AEP spokesperson Phil Moye says the company would step in if the tree actually hit power lines.

Moye says contact would be signified by a power outage or a fire in the tree, which hasn't happened yet.

DOH representatives told WSAZ.com they can't touch the tree until it hits the road. Spokesperson Carrie Bly says cleaning it now would endanger their workers' safety since it's so close to electricity.

Neighbors like Kathy Trent say they won't feel safe until it's cleaned up.

"I drive [this road] every day because I have to," she said. "There are a lot of buses that travel out here back and forth; a lot of special needs buses."

Police say they'll end up shutting down the road if the tree continues to threaten drivers.

"If the limb would continue to break or the tree would fall, someone could get hurt," Lt. Burdette said.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for updates.


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