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Old oak tree falls in Pasadena but memories remain

December 1, 2011 | 10:22 am

Old oak tree falls in Pasadena
When Helen Newton moved into her house on the 1200 block of North Hudson Street in Pasadena 38 years ago, an old tree in the backyard was like a jungle gym for her little daughter, Nicole.

Years passed. The tree remained. Newton never knew what kind it was. Nicole was killed in a car accident in 2003 and Newton was left to raise Nicole’s two sons and a daughter -- now 9, 11, and 13.

When Newton decided to add onto the house to provide more room for the kids, the city told her she couldn't build within 10 feet of the old tree. Newton counts herself lucky they did.

The tree and a lot of memories came tumbling down Wednesday night with a "whoosh" amid powerful winds.

“I’m blessed,” said Newton, 63. “The way it fell it didn’t hit the house,” destroying instead a wood fence.

The storm hit old oak-lined North Hudson hard. Branches and leaves littered the sidewalks Thursday. A roof was torn off of a senior apartment complex across the street from Newton's house, and 37 residents had to be evacuated.

"This is the worst wind I've seen or heard since I've been living here," Newton said.


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

Pasadena the 'epicenter' of windstorm, city manager says

Fierce winds blast Southern California; thousands without power

 -- Sam Quinones


Photo: Aalaysia Stephen, 11, left, and Melia Guyton, 11, survey a tree toppled on their home on Claremont Street and Hudson Avenue in Pasadena. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times