The tallest Christmas tree in the U.S. was so tall that when fierce Oklahoma winds snapped the top off, the broken piece still looked like a big, brand new Christmas tree. One that measures about 27 feet tall, at that.
A photo captured by NewsLink - Enid following the holiday tangle illustrates just how tall a 140-foot tall Christmas tree truly is as the broken top — along with its decorations — hangs from a signage equipment crane.
That piece was broken off when a cold front brought winds gusts of up to 50 mph through Enid late Sunday, Dec. 5, along with sustained 30 mph winds, according to the Enid News & Eagle.
“The top of the tree was broken earlier in the evening and is still hanging by the guy wires,” the Enid Police Department shared on Facebook at 11:14 p.m. that evening. “While this may be quite the spectacle there is an issue with safety as sustained winds of 30-plus miles per hour continue.
“We need everyone to avoid the area, including nearby parking lots and the sidewalks surrounding the tree. Falling debris poses a significant danger and we do not want anyone to suffer any injuries.”
The 27-foot broken piece has since been lowered to the ground, according to project organizers.
The One, organizers of “Christ Tree,” said its team is partnering with the city as they conduct a “damage assessment of the tree.”
“We are all broken. We can all be made new in time,” The One shared on Facebook the next day. “We can’t thank our amazing community enough for the prayers, love and support as we navigate these next steps. We are full of HOPE!”
In a statement to McClatchy News, The One said its working to repair “Christ Tree” along with the surrounding trees and decorations.
“Christ Tree will remain the centerpiece of our 42-day event and will be relit soon,” according to the statement.
The One is a “passion project” and event with a mission to bring the Enid community together for Christmas, according to its website.
“We set out to capture the hearts and minds of our town, championing our keystone piece, the Christ Tree, a 140 foot tall, live-cut Christmas tree,” The One’s website says. “For your perspective, the ever-famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree averages 77 feet.
“But this isn’t about who’s got the biggest tree. The tree is a marker for the true One, the immeasurable One, God.”
The project, which was expected to cost about $500,000, was brought to life by Kyle Williams, CEO of Hammer Williams Co.; his wife, Carol; and partnering organizations, according to The Oklahoman.
Their giant Christmas tree made the trip from California to Enid, of northern Oklahoma, in October before it was trimmed with 20,000 multicolored LED lights and 10,000 ornaments, KFOR reported at the time.
“Getting the tree here was probably one of the more difficult tasks, so I confess I was nervous,” Williams told The Oklahoman. “The thing could sag, it could break, it went through a snow storm, it went through a thunder storm but it finally arrived here on time. I just believe the Lord had a hand in that, in bringing that tree here safely.”