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Pasadena the 'epicenter' of windstorm, city manager says

December 1, 2011 |  8:47 am

Tree crushes house in Pasadena
As morning broke Thursday in Pasadena, the entire city appears to have been affected by ferocious winds that knocked down trees and power lines -- posing hazards for motorists and city workers alike.

Fire and police officials reported "throughout the entire 26 square miles of the city, streets are littered with trees and tree limbs, downed power lines and wires," said Pasadena City Manager Michael Beck, in an interview in the basement of City Hall. "Pasadena seemed to be the epicenter" of the windstorm, he said.

Officials have declared a local state of emergency, called all employees into work, and asked for mutual aid assistance from Los Angeles County Public Works, Beck said. Pasadena public schools have been closed, as have city libraries.

About 6,000 customers remain without electricity from the city's utility, Pasadena Water and Power, he said.

A tree split an apartment complex, forcing the city to evacuate 37 residents. Colorado Boulevard through Old Town Pasadena was obstructed with at least two large tree limbs. In the southern part of town, a tree lay across all of Grand Avenue. A tree fell on a car outside a Denny’s restaurant, and the driver had to be extracted.

No deaths have been reported, but one person was critically burned in a fire on Penn Street. The cause of the fire was most likely due to the wind, though no one has had time to fully investigate, as calls for service have inundated the department.

Talking with long-time employees, Beck said "no one can recollect when something so severe and encompassing has occurred" in Pasadena.


Gusts near 100 mph reported; about 25,500 without power

High winds: Debris creates traffic hazards on roads, freeways

High winds: Power outages hit 300,000 Southern California homes

 -- Sam Quinones in Pasadena


Photo: A tree fell on a house on the 400 block of Adena Street in Pasadena. Credit: Raul Roa / Times Community News