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At Calaveras Big Trees State Park, this is the walk-through tree, a novelty thought up  and carved through by unknown pioneers, shown Aug. 19, 1969. (AP Photo/Ernest K. Bennett)

California's iconic hollowed-out tree fell during heavy weekend storms


The hollowed-out Pioneer Cabin tree toppled Sunday during a heavy weekend rainstorm.

The "drive-through" tree in Calaveras Big Trees State Park in California was hollowed out in the 1880s to let tourists pass through. It fell at about 2 p.m. local time, SFGate reports.  

It's not clear what exactly caused the tree to fall, but its roots are shallow, and the area around the tree was flooded.  Park volunteer Jim Allday said the tree "shattered" on impact.

Allday posted photos of the damages to Facebook.

The park's official Facebook page also mourned its loss.

Here's a clear before-and-after.

It's kind of surreal how empty the park is. There's nobody here.
Gary Kazanjian, photographer, speaking of Yosemite

Elsewhere, the storm was more dangerous. An uncharacteristically fierce winter storm that could leave 15 inches of rain in California triggered the mudslide, floods and blocked roads, forcing hundreds of evacuations and closing schools. A woman was killed Saturday by a falling tree as she walked on a San Francisco golf course. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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