Winds cause injuries from car accidents, falls at home
The damaging windstorm that hit Southern California last week resulted in some injuries as the blackout made driving -- and even walking through your house -- a potentially dangerous experience.
The emergency room at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena saw a 5% increase in patients Wednesday night through Friday night over the usual 170 patients it sees each day.
Several were injured in car accidents due to debris-strewn streets and nonworking traffic signals, said Dr. Robert Goldweber, assistant director of the hospital's emergency department. Emergency room staff also saw many elderly people who'd fallen in the dark. Some patients' oxygen generators failed.
"People needed oxygen and their oxygen generators went out. They didn't have the equipment they needed," Goldweber said.
In towns including Arcadia and South Pasadena, city crews worked to clear major streets of trees and other debris. City officials reminded motorists to treat blacked-out traffic signals like four-way stop signs. Some streets remained closed, as did the L.A. County Arboretum and several parks and libraries.
At night, large stretches of normally bustling commercial thoroughfares such as Valley Boulevard, were dim as cars crawled past dark traffic signals and closed gas stations, supermarkets and restaurants.
"This is probably the most severe windstorm event in terms of impact on the power grid in the last decade," said Gil Alexander, a Southern California Edison spokesman. "Looking at our history, this is one of the more significant ones."
-- Hector Becerra
Photo: Downed power lines and utility poles create an obstruction in the 9800 block of Live Oak Avenue in Temple City. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times