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California windstorm: Giant oak crashes down in San Marino

December 1, 2011 | 11:28 am

San Marino tree

Dennis Lim was up all Wednesday night worried about the trees in the backyard of his San Marino home. But by daylight, it was his family's beloved 100-year-old oak tree in the front yard that had crashed down on Pasqualito Drive, blocking the entire road.

"It was awful. We were watching the trees in the back. We were watching it all sway. We didn't even realize our big oak tree went down until we came for coffee and all the kids were playing outside, and they go, 'Listen, the tree is gone,'" Lim said.

PHOTOS: California windstorm | Submit your photos

"It was the worst I've ever seen it," he said, referring to the winds. He and his neighbors were surprised that they didn't hear it crash, but were thankful the tree didn't strike any homes.

"This was, like, our neighborhood tree, that we would use for a swing. And the kids were all sad," Lim said. The tree looked as if a giant had knelt on its wide trunk, pushing its roots sprawling skyward about 4 feet high. Oak branches littered the entire neighborhood, and parents were telling their children to stop climbing the fallen tree.

INTERACTIVE: How Santa Ana winds develop

Lim said San Marino police told him more than 100 trees were down citywide, and city crews were focusing on clearing major roads first, then residential roads later.

The power was also still out in northern Alhambra, and traffic on the border between Alhambra and San Marino was a mess, with street lights still out.

RELATED:

High wind forecast: 'It isn't over yet'

California windstorm: Widespread damage, more wind coming

Santa Ana winds: Trees toppled on Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena

-- Rong-Gong Lin II in San Marino

Photo: A 100-year-old oak tree toppled in San Marino. Credit: Rong-Gong Lin II / Los Angeles Times

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