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Wind: Downed trees likely affected all Pasadena streets, official says

December 2, 2011 |  3:55 pm

Click here to see more photos.Pasadena is known for its trees -- and now the city is paying a heavy price, officials said.

Officials estimate that at least 450 city-owned trees fell as fierce Santa Ana winds roared through Wednesday night and into Thursday. That doesn't count trees on private property. Nor does it count trees damaged or toppled in city parks, which will probably run into the hundreds once the city gets a chance to count them. Officials haven't been able to do so because of having to deal with downed trees on streets. The city-run Brookside Golf Course lost 100 trees alone.

Look up Pasadena on Google Earth and "you realize you can't see anything but the tops of trees," said City Manager Michael Beck. "I would be surprised if there was a street that wasn't impacted."

PHOTOS: Santa Ana winds | Submit your photos

Budget shortfalls have forced the city to cut 300 staffers since 2009. All public works and utility employees are working 12-hour shifts, he said.

In addition, eight traffic lights were toppled, and another dozen don't work.

Nevertheless, all Pasadena's street should be open by Sunday afternoon, officials said.

Then will begin the task of transporting all the tree material to a property at Eaton Canyon, which Los Angeles County owns and is letting the city use, where it will all be ground up for mulch.

"It'll take us weeks to move all that material," said Beck. That "will be the primary focus next week."


Why did California's high winds fell so many trees?

Santa Ana winds: Gusts top 150 mph at Mammoth Mountain

Santa Ana winds: Rare weather system produced powerful gusts

-- Sam Quinones in Pasadena

Photo: A prison crew cuts fallen trees on 600 Eldora Road in Pasadena. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times