Severe wind downs tree on Kies, barely misses motorist

by BETH ALTENA

In the midst of severe weather warnings and following a morning of tornado watches and warnings, a large black oak fell across Kies Street in Cannon Township, nearly missing a vehicle. It fell in the afternoon of Tuesday, October 26. The tree, which the president of the local Izaak Walton League chapter, Georgia Donovan estimated could be 100 years old, was rotted in the core. It narrowly missed the mailbox of the home on the northside of the street, opposite of where the tree had been growing.

A driver and resident of the street saw the tree fall and described the narrow miss by the vehicle driving by. “It missed by only a couple of feet,” said the woman, who asked only to be identified as a member of Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church. She parked her vehicle at the intersection of Kies and Bagley and directed drivers away from the stretch of road completely blocked by the tree. Donovan stood to the west of the fallen tree, also warning drivers of the danger.

Pete Kruer of Rockford Hardware arrived on the scene with a tractor to assist in the removal of the tree, which took place at about 4:30 p.m. The Kent County Road Commission sent a truck with flashers about the same time Kruer and another man moved the tree out of the roadway. “A neighbor’s son came over a hill and hit a tree once and it wasn’t a good thing,” the good Samaratin noted. She said she was worried high school students, who might be driving too fast on the road, could possibly hit the tree. “All of us OLC people are always out in the community doing things,” she said of her volunteer safety efforts.

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