A portion of Bradwell Park near a large oak tree has been closed to the public as a safety precaution, according to Hinesville officials.
"The large willow oak tree in Bradwell Park that is situated closest to MLK Drive has been struck by lightning and is presenting a safety problem," Hinesville City Manager Billy Edwards said in a memo Thursday.
"We had (Liberty County Extension Coordinator) Robert Bell and an arborist assess the tree. Both advised it be taken down because the structural integrity of the top of the tree has been compromised to the point that it is a safety hazard, especially when you consider that it is in a public park with substantial traffic underneath its canopy. We are soliciting proposals from tree surgeons for removing the tree ASAP."
"We encourage residents to not use the area marked off with caution tape," Hinesville Public Relations Manager Krystal Britton told the Courier on Thursday. She also said residents should not be surprised if the city decides to remove the damaged tree.
Intermittent thunderstorms that moved through Liberty County during the past two weeks produced strong winds that caused falling trees and branches. Some people in the Coastal area went without power last weekend due to downed power lines from the storms.