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Storm topples California’s iconic tunnel tree

Posted at 12:54 PM, Jan 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-09 12:54:52-05

CALAVERAS COUNTY, Calif. -- A giant sequoia tree well-known for the huge tunnel carved through it has toppled during California's weekend storms.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the historic Pioneer Cabin in Calaveras Big Trees State Park in Calaveras County came down during heavy rains on Sunday.

The tree was hollowed out in the 1880s to allow tourists to pass through it.

Cars later used the massive tunnel, but more recently it has hosted only hikers.

Park volunteer Jim Allday of Arnold says the tree shattered as it hit the ground.

There was no immediate word on what caused the tree to fall, but the Chronicle reports that it probably had to do with the tree's shallow root system and the inundation.