[by:www.tingvoa.com - VOA英语网]
[00:00.10]A powerful storm has brought down one of the most famous trees in the United States.
[00:07.45]The huge “Pioneer Cabin Tree”
[00:11.86]fell Sunday in northern California during a storm that caused severe flooding.
[00:20.59]The giant sequoia is famous for having a large hole at the bottom of its trunk.
[00:30.28]The hole was big enough for people to walk under.
[00:36.03]In the past, California state officials permitted vehicles to drive through it.
[00:43.99]Until now, thousands of people traveled to the Calaveras Big Trees State Park
[00:52.36]each year to see the giant sequoia.
[00:56.40]The park is located east of San Francisco, near Yosemite National Park.
[01:05.01]Some officials believed the tree was to up to 2,000 years old.
[01:11.71]The Calaveras Big Trees Association confirmed reports that the sequoia was no longer standing.
[01:20.91]“The Pioneer Cabin tree has fallen!” said a message posted to Facebook.
[01:29.05]The weekend storm was “just too much” for the tree to handle, it added.
[01:36.81]California's Department of Parks and Recreation said in a statement that root
[01:45.74] and trunk decay had weakened the tree.
[01:50.34]That area around the sequoia had been closed because of storms
[01:56.88] and no one was hurt by the falling tree, it added.
[02:01.52]Photographs posted on social media showed the fallen tree broken
[02:08.59] apart in some places as it sat on top of flooded ground.
[02:14.60]The huge roots that kept the tree in the ground for so many years were showing.
[02:21.29]Many visitors to the state park took pictures while standing underneath the famous sequoia.
[02:30.13]After hearing about the tree, some posted photos and messages on social media
[02:38.44]about their memories and experiences.
[02:42.29]“It's kind of like someone in the family has died,” tree admirer Joyce Brown told the Associated Press.
[02:52.88]Brown, now 65, said she was just 12 when her parents first took her to see the “drive-thru tree.”
[03:05.42]She's now a retired school teacher who spends about one-third of the year at a small cabin near the tree.
[03:15.12]The tunnel that made the sequoia famous also weakened it over time.
[03:22.66]The hole was made in the 1880s to let people and vehicles pass through the tree.
[03:32.30]This began with horses and buggies and later with cars.
[03:38.90]Eventually, the path going under the tree was only open to people walking.
[03:46.71]Sequoias are the largest tree species in the world.
[03:53.62]They can reach up to eight meters in diameter.
[03:59.34]A volunteer at the Calaveras Big Trees State Park explained that when
[04:08.21] the already mostly dead tree hit the ground,
[04:11.87] it broke apart and was completely unrecognizable.
[04:17.78]He said the tree quickly went from something "majestic" to pieces of “rubble."
[04:26.74]I'm Dorothy Gundy.