Massive downed tree blocks traffic for hours in Berclair

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BERCLAIR, Tenn. — Tuesday night’s storm caused a headache for drivers after a massive tree crashed through a cement wall and toppled onto Graham Street.

It happened at Tutwiler and Graham around 10 p.m., according to city crews on scene, blocking all four lanes of Graham.

Crews spent hours working to get the street back open Wednesday morning, right down the street from Grahamwood Elementary School, as parents tried to get their kids to class.

“It’s a good thing it happened during the middle of the night when there was nobody out,” said resident John Medvec.

Medvec said he and his neighbors had been in the dark since around 1 a.m.

“We’ve been without power quite a while,” he said.

He told WREG traffic was stalled in front of his house all morning.

“I’ve seen them backed up for blocks,” Medvec said. “Graham is a very busy street. I’m surprised they have it blocked totally off.”

City crews said high winds and rain have brought down trees all across the city, especially the aging ones.

“The trees are old and when we have as much rain as we had, the ground gets soft and then we get the wind and it blows the older trees over,” Medvec said.

They estimated the tree on Graham was about 100 years old.

“When it gets real wet like this, a little bit of wind will push them over,” said Greg Stablein.

Many drivers had to find a new route, but luckily for Stablein – who bikes four miles to work every day – the mess was no match for his two wheels.

“It’s not a terrible inconvenience to go around,” he said.

Representatives for Grahamwood Elementary said all their buses made it to school on time, despite the mess.

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