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Santa Ana winds: Gas station in Pasadena crushed by fallen tree

December 1, 2011 |  2:38 am


Heavy Santa Ana winds were lashing Southern California before dawn Thursday morning, spreading  fires and knocking down electrical wires, causing scattered blackouts.

In Pasadena, a Shell station at San Gabriel and Colorado boulevards was a crumpled mess after a tree fell onto the gas pumps. Pasadena Police Lt. Jari Faulkner said the gas station was manned at the time and an employee shut off the pumps, so no fuel leaked. 

"We probably have over 100 trees that are down and arcing wires and transformers that have blown," Faulkner said. She added that some neighborhoods are completely without power, including in Altadena. 

In a statement, the Pasadena Police Department urged residents to limit their travel during the wind storm. 

Before midnight in downtown L.A.,  a gust of 56 mph was recorded before the anemometer broke, according to the National Weather Service. Potted plants blew down. Gusts of 60 mph were reported in Glendale, Mount Washington and Pasadena; and up to 65 mph in parts of the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.

The strongest gust recorded was 97 mph at 6:57 p.m. on Wednesday near the 5 Freeway near Castaic. The Santa Ana winds are expected to continue through Thursday afternoon, then pick up again Thursday night.

Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said that after midnight, firefighters were being dispatched every 12 seconds, responding to emergency calls about downed power lines. Photos of downed trees were being posted across the region on Twitter. 

Firefighters extinguished a 2-acre grass fire near Occidental College in the Eagle Rock area caused by downed high voltage electric lines. Officials had ordered evacuations as a precaution but they turned out to be unnecessary. 


Santa Ana winds: Fire near Occidental College extinguished

Wind gusts near 100 mph reported; about 25,500 without power

LAX cleared for flights, but about 14,000 without power in area

--- Rong-Gong Lin II 


Photo: A downed tree crushes a Pasadena gas station. Credit: KTLA