Paving season has begun, and for one town street, much to the resident's dismay, it has taken with it many of the trees that line their road.
Barraclough Avenue in Whitneyville was always a tree-lined neighborhood of single family homes, according to resident Linda Connors, until the Tornado of 1989.
"Most of us lost many, if not all of our trees then, large oaks, maples, evergreens.Within a year after the clean up the town planted curb side cherry blossoms, alternating white and pink," she said. "Although they were a nuisance once the flowers dropped, while in bloom they brought back a little of the quaintness the bareness of the Tornado took away."
But one morning last week that changed, she said.
"I awoke to the sound of chain saws. After opening my living room blinds, much to my surprise I noticed almost half of the curbside trees were missing," she said. "At first glance they were too far down the street to notice, so my first thought was finally after 23 years they were trimming them back. I assumed something to do with the trees taking down lines and being out of power for so long last October. Figured preventative measures.
"You couldn't have imagined the look on my face when I walked outside and flashed back to what appeared to be a re-enactment of the Tornado of 89," she said as she saw tree stumps lining the street. "I called a neighbor who was just as aghast as I to see if they knew what was going on. Maybe a beetle infestation? Must be something serious to destroy an entire neighborhood.
When she called Mayor Scott Jackson's office, she learned that the trees were removed in order to pave the street, Connors said.
"I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It seems 23 years of living trees, were being sacrificed for the convenience of the equipment drivers who were going to be repaving the street," she said. "As if a repaved street was to make up for the lack of shade, lack of bird shelter, lack of what little ambiance was left in my childhood neighborhood."
Connors said she and many of her neighbors are outraged that the town when to such extremes to pave the road, and without any notice to residents.
"It is hard for me to think this couldn't have been handled in another manner," she said, possibly trimming the trees back -- but to hack them down to stumps? Totally outrageous!"
She was told it hasn't been decided whether the trees will be replaced, Connors said.