Thursday, January 21, 2010

Huge tree takes a fortunate fall into Friendship Park

This is obviously not a picture of the fallen tree, but does show where the central top section of the tree feel, between the sides of the two gazebos numbered 4 and 5.
A tall, fat, dead tree on adjoining property fell into Friendship Park at the height of the windiness during yesterday's storm. A prudent decision kept anyone from being hurt and dumb luck kept the level of property damage relatively low.

The tree fell at the back of the park, near the southeast corner where the fountain is that honors deceased homeless citizens. It uprooted itself and landed in the wedge of space between the back of gazebos numbered 4 and 5.

According to Garren Bratcher, co-director of Friendship Park, the park will be open today and it is hoped will be open tomorrow. If the park needs to close tomorrow, many park services will be offered at nearby Delany Center. Clean-up in the park, which will entail cutting up the tree to remove it in sections, will proceed through the weekend.

I was told that perhaps fifteen minutes before the tree fell, branches fell and hit the roof of the nearest gazebos. Brackett determined at that point to evacuate the corner of the park where the tree ultimately did fall. His decision was causal for some grousing from park denizens, but proved to be key. No one was hurt, though the area were the tree fell is typically crowded during the park's open hours. A bank of a dozen lockers on the east side of Gazebo 4 is in such a position that had anyone been in a locker there the person could have been badly hurt or pinned down.

This morning, the huge fallen tree, weighing tons, was quite a spectacle. Branches large and small littered the southeast corner of the property and the grassy area in the center of the ring of gazebos. Mike Tipper, a Loaves & Fishes employee, who is very probably Homeless World Sac's strongest man, was beginning a task of picking up loose branches and twigs.

Garren Bratcher was viewing the scene from the neighboring property. The metal property-division fence was curled down by the treetrunk's girth. Several metal and thick-wood benches were smashed or damaged. The tree's upper reaches put waves of damage in the rooves of gazebos its trunk landed between.

It was a fortunate fall.

Update 1pm: Already, the fallen tree has been sawed up and hauled away and its littler pieces chipped. Operations are back to normal in FP, except that the area where the tree fell is still cordoned off, as is an other area of the park where a dead oak tree stands that may be cut down soon.

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