Historically significant Somerset tree toppled by strong wind gusts

SE Mass

SOMERSET, Mass. (WPRI) ─ Strong wind gusts toppled trees and powerlines across the region Friday, including a historically significant tree in front of a Somerset church.

The white oak tree, which once stood outside St. Thomas More Church, is known as the Council Oak, according to Rev. David Costa.

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Costa said the tree is sacred and used to be a meeting spot for the Wampanoag Tribe.

The wind gusts were able to completely snap the tree from its base. It is now surrounded by caution tape as it rests on its side in front of the church.

Costa said the tree didn’t cause any significant damage to the church, but it did crack one of the front windows. He said the tree has been there for decades.

A Wind Advisory will remain in effect until 2 a.m. Saturday, with potential gusts of up to 40-50 mph.

The wind gusts also knocked down a pine tree at Whispering Pines Campground in Hope Valley, which crushed a camper that was parked underneath.

No one was inside the camper at the time.

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