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Looming trees trouble neighbors

By Christy Andrews
Published On: Sep 18 2012 05:16:03 PM CDT
NEW BERN -

Severe weather adds to concern about potential danger in local neighborhood.

Residents on National Avenue in New Bern said they're worried about old damaged trees in their neighborhood, and they want the trees removed. The trees were damaged during Irene, and Fowler said it's only a matter of time before they fall.

"My concern is somebody, some child, or some car is going to get clobbered with these branches that are dead," Susan Fowler, neighborhood resident, said. Fowler said it's only a matter of time before the trees fall.

"I'm afraid it's going to fall on a car going by, or on someone walking down the street and hurt or kill them," another resident, Stevie Bennett, said.

The right-of-way the trees are located on is controlled by the Department of Transportation. Bennett said she called the DOT to ask the trees be removed, but was told they could not be.

'They need to do preventive work rather than after the fact," Bennett said. "After someone's been hurt or property's damaged."

Gordy Eure, DOT County Maintenance Engineer, said most of the trees look alive, so they don't pose enough of a threat to be removed. Eure said only a significant storm would knock the trees down.

Residents still disagree.

"Then there's going to be a tragedy and then everyone will rush around and worry about it," Fowler said. "It will be too late then."

According to residents, the city has also requested the DOT take some of the trees down.