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Santa Ana winds: San Gabriel Valley cities overwhelmed

December 1, 2011 |  7:53 pm

Cities across the suburban San Gabriel Valley remained crippled Thursday night, with city officials warning that fallen trees and branches may not be cleared for up to four days.

Winds damageIn San Marino, officials expected the blackout hitting most of the city would continue for another night. In Temple City, 75% of the city had no electricity, and officials were going to door to door to hand out flashlights, warning residents that power may not be restored for two or three more days.

Along Live Oak Avenue in Temple City, Brian Haworth, assistant to the city manager, said there were 14 downed power lines and split poles between Primrose and Baldwin avenues.

"We have power lines hanging in the middle of the street," Haworth said. Fallen trees still blocked access to roads.

The cities of Alhambra, South Pasadena, Pasadena, San Marino, San Gabriel, Temple City, Sierra Madre, Monrovia, Glendora and Arcadia have all declared states of emergency, along with Los Angeles County.

PHOTOS: Santa Ana winds | Submit your photos

The problem with putting the power back on in Temple City is that Southern California Edison crews haven't yet been able to scour every single area to find downed lines, Haworth said. If the electric grid is turned on without a thorough search, it could risk someone getting electrocuted from a live wire.

Temple City's business district on Las Tunas was also without power, and Edison was preparing to erect portable lights on streets for illumination A Ralphs supermarket was hurriedly trying to sell ice and eggs early Thursday. About 30 homes were damaged in Temple City, and up to 200 trees toppled.

With so much tree debris, Haworth said, he hopes that roads and driveways would be cleared by Monday. The city is also asking for increased patrol by sheriff's deputies.

And with a section of the city without running water – possibly because water pumps require electricity -- Los Angeles County fire crews brought in mobile water tanks, just in case. Much of Los Angeles County is a red flag warning, conditions that could easily cause a wildfire.

In San Marino, about 250 trees blocked streets throughout the city, rendering uninhabitable three homes and damaging 10 others. A garage caught on fire after a power line had fallen, said City Manager Matt Ballantyne.

In Arcadia, seven buildings were declared uninhabitable.

Classes were again canceled Friday for many San Gabriel Valley schools, including Pasadena, South Pasadena, Alhambra, Arcadia and San Gabriel. San Marino schools were expected to reopen Friday.


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Santa Ana winds: Power could be out for two days in parts of L.A.

--- Rong-Gong Lin II

Photo: A traffic signal rests on the ground at Orange Grove Boulevard and Allen Avenue after high winds ripped through the area Thursday. Credit: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times.