UPDATE: Downed tree closes South Scenic Highway - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Downed tree closes South Scenic Highway

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UPDATE: Residents along Scenic Highway on Lookout Mountain woke up to a big surprise Tuesday morning.

A massive tree fell onto South Scenic Highway taking down power lines and blocking both lanes of traffic, causing a mess for Tuesday’s morning commuters

Paul Campbell, a nearby resident said the noises from the downed tree woke him up, "I just heard a big kind of popping sound and I just looked over and noticed the radio and lights were out."

Road crews say just before 5 a.m. Tuesday morning a tree uprooted near Sanders Road knocking down power lines and a transformer.  EPB's grid rerouted electricity, but a few dozen customers were still without power throughout the day.

EPB Spokesperson John Pless said that in incidents like this the company’s smart grid reroutes power to as many customers as possible. In this particular case, Pless said that about 50 customers were without power Tuesday morning.

Commuters in the area were forced to use alternate routes during the cleanup. Some drivers say the detour added as much as 30 minutes to their commute.

The cause of the fall has not yet been determined. Residents say trees in the area are damaged by an abundance of ivy, causing them to fall often.

“The ivy on the trees is on the problem. We try and get the ivy off of our trees cause we know it'll kill the trees and make them more apt to fall,” Campbell said.

A tree removal service spent the morning dismantling the tree, while EPB restored power to the area.

PREVIOUS STORY: A large tree is shuts down scenic highway on Lookout Mountain. A number of wires and power lines are also down in the area.

Initial calls to dispatch started around  5:00 a.m. Tuesday. Police say it could take 4- 7 hours to clear the scene.

Stay with WRCB for the latest. 

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