During our Valley Reality Showcase event on Sunday, April 14, a nasty storm swept through Southeast Ohio and more specifically, Ohio University. A tornado warning was issued early in the day up until 8 p.m.. Ironically, one of the stories being showcased at the event was about a tornado that swept through Athens in 2010.
Although there was no actual tornado on Sunday, winds were still strong enough to open closed doors and even cause a hefty amount of damage. Trash was thrown through the streets of Athens and tree branches were all over the roads causing cars to swerve to avoid any damage. But most importantly, Ohio University lost something they deem as special, a tree on College Green.
Almost the entire trunk had fallen to the ground, blocking an entire path through the middle of College Green. Students who are notoriously known for having their head buried in the phone while walking through the Green would walk right up to blockade and have to almost walk the entire path back to avoid the fallen tree.
The tree falling made me curious about a couple of things. To start, how old even are these trees that line the pathways of College Green? Also, how long would it take to clear an entire tree up from destruction?
Well, it only took a simple Google search to find out the first answer. “Ohio University’s fourth president William Holmes McGuffey authorized the planting of 17 American elm trees.” And apparently, some had already died in the 1950s due to “Dutch elm disease”.
My other answer was found simply by walking through College Green the next morning. Tree branches were still scattered everywhere and you could definitely see the signs of a crazy windstorm from the night before, but there was no large tree blocking the pathway anymore.
College Green is a very important landmark for Ohio University and is something that brings alumni back during the warmer months for just viewing and taking pictures. It might seem like a tree falling down from a storm is no big deal, but not here at Ohio University.