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      GDOT responds to downed trees on I-75

      Georgia Department of Transportation maintenance crews cleared trees and debris from Interstate 75 southbound in Lowndes County this morning after strong thunderstorms moved through the area. / Ronda Vanek


      Georgia Department of Transportation maintenance crews cleared trees and debris from Interstate 75 southbound in Lowndes County this morning after strong thunderstorms moved through the area.

      Reports were received at 10:21 a.m. of trees and debris on I-75 south in the area of milepost 8. A small tree also fell onto the outside southbound lane of U.S. 41 near the same area. No other roadway obstructions were reported on the interstate or any state routes within southwest Georgia as of noon, District Maintenance Engineer Stacy Aultman said.

      Highway Maintenance Foreman 2 Edward Lane from the Valdosta DOT office happened to be nearby when reports were received at 10:21 a.m. about trees down on I-75.

      "I got there pretty quick. I was already checking my routes anyway," Lane said.

      Lane said he saw seven green pine trees down, with one stretching across all three lanes. Lane already had a chainsaw in his truck so he went to work cutting enough of the longest tree to get traffic moving in the inside lane. He said that took about 20 minutes. Crews cut up the other trees and used a front end loader to remove the trunks and debris. All lanes were open in about an hour. Traffic did not have to be detoured.

      The fire department cut the small tree that fell onto U.S. 41. Lane said DOT crews would make sure the debris was removed from the road.

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