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LIGHTNING PHOTOS: Huge oak tree blocks Greenville Highway

A large oak tree fell across Greenville Highway around 12:45 p.m. Friday, taking down three power poles, covering an unoccupied SUV in a parking lot and completely blocking the road in the 1100 block.

The highway was expected to be closed until later Friday night, officials said. At 5 p.m. Duke Energy reported just three active power outages and 13 customers without power in Henderson County so it appeared that the power outage was not widespread. The fallen tree was just south of the Hendersonville Family Dental practice and Brookdale Avenue and north of the Shepherd-Erkwood roundabout. It fell from the east side of the road to the west, demolishing part of a white picket fence in front of a business building.

More than 15 rigs from Duke Energy, Sumter Utility Co., Asplundh Tree Service and the NCDOT were on the scene as crews worked to chainsaw the tree, clear it from the road, erect new power poles, restring electric lines and restore power.

Hendersonville Fire Chief D. James Miller said firefighters cleared the scene around 2:15 p.m. and turned the road-clearing operation over to the NCDOT. The transportation agency was waiting on a track hoe to clear the heavy logs out of the road, he said. Workers were chainsawing the tree, which was close to 4-feet in diameter at its base. Miller said he didn't know what caused the tree to fall. The tree was removed, new power poles were up and the road was reopened by Saturday morning.