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UPDATE: Historic Decatur Tree Topples, Crushes Cars

Another tree in Oakhurst splits in two, causes power outage.

The towering white oak tree sheltered Union soldiers during the Civil War, but a Wednesday afternoon storm topped the historic tree, crushing several cars, knocking down power lines and blocking downtown Decatur traffic.

Decatur Fire Chief Toni Dixon said that although three or four cars were crushed along Ponce de Leon Avenue by the Decatur Post Office, there were no injuries.

She said the tree, hollow at the center, fell about 4:30 p.m. 

Marlay owner Colin Comer said he was in the back of his restaurant when he heard a loud crash of the tree, but thought at first that it was thunder.

The 108-foot tall tree was added to the Georgia Urban Forest Council's list of historic trees last year, after it was nominated by local Neil Norton.

The 35th New Jersey Union regiment encamped near the tree during the Battle of Decatur, according to the council, which put the replacement value of the stand of trees at $62,551.

"You can see where it took a transformer down," said Comer. "It was old and sick, but it was a nice tree."

There was other storm damage around town, including in Oakhurst.

On Hill Street by the Solarium at Scottish Rite, Decatur Metro blog reports that a tree fell on several cars, and other big branches were down on the property. It doesn't appear that anyone was hurt.

On South McDonough Street by Oakhurst Garden, a tree was split in two by lightening. Fire officials blocked off South McDonough by Oakhurst Garden all the way up to Agnes Scott College. The tree was leaning so far that they expected it to fall onto the power lines.

It eventually knocked out power in parts of Oakhurst and as of 10:30 p.m. Thursday was still not on, according to resident Josie Malesela. 

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