TULSA, Okla. — Strolling down their driveway, stepping onto their street, Ginger Hendricks and her kids walk a block from home, to find out if a huge tree is still blocking the most used and quickest entrance into their neighborhood, which is just north of Woodland Hills Mall.
Hendricks told 2 News, "A lot of people use this road to get to the mall or to the senior citizen center or to 61st street, so we get a lot of traffic."
The tree fell from a lot with a vacant house a couple of Saturdays ago. It fell across the entire street, blocking not only the street but also an elderly woman's driveway, so she couldn't get out.
Several neighbors said they called the city's 311 helplines, and other numbers that weekend, but by Monday afternoon, the third day after the tree fell, it was still on the street.
"It's a hazard. People coming up on it at night, and they may not see it," said Donna Freymuth, another neighbor.
Several neighbors worry the downed tree could delay emergency vehicles when minutes or even seconds count. Hendricks' kids have special needs, and her mother-in-law lives next door, in poor health.
"Making sure an ambulance or fire trucks can get past is very important to us," Hendricks said.
Some of those living nearby cut away part of the tree themselves, so the stranded neighbor could get out, and small vehicles could maneuver through, without gouging the sides and scratching the paint. And after their last call to the city, Hendricks said they were told the downed tree was the neighborhood's responsibility.
Hendricks said, "It's more frustrating that one person sends you to another person who's not even involved, who sends you to another person."
But after 2 News Problem Solvers contacted the city about the neighborhood concerns, it only took a couple of hours for a crew to show up, to start removing the tree.
A city representative said he couldn't pinpoint why there was confusion over those weekend calls for help. But he said whenever a tree blocks a city street, the city will remove the part that's on public property since it's a public safety issue.
Even though those neighbors said they had issues calling 311, the city said that's the best way to report problems like the one they were facing. That not only includes trees but other debris as well.
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