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Trees were bouncing before they fell, Pasadena resident says

December 1, 2011 |  9:29 am

Click here to see more photos.As the wind picked up about midnight Wednesday, David and Michelle Cathcart huddled with their children in the hallway of their two-story, 113-year-old Craftsman cottage on El Molino Avenue in Pasadena and waited in terror.

Though all the doors and windows were locked, the wind slammed and rattled them nonetheless.

Outside, three trees, between 60 and 75 feet tall, almost seemed to bounce back and forth in the ferocious wind. 

PHOTOS: Wind wreaks havoc on Southern California

“We were scared that they were going to crush the house,” Michelle Cathcart said.

The Cathcarts narrowly escaped disaster. The downed trees covered the family’s yard but missed the house, which has been in David Cathcart’s family for decades.

The first tree fell shortly after midnight.

“It was like thunder,” said Julio Carrera, a gardener and next-door neighbor.

“Then 40 minutes later, the other two fell, one by one,” said Michelle Cathcart.

No one was hurt, not even the family’s two pitbulls.

El Molino, meanwhile, was littered with vegetation -- leaves, branches, palm fronds -– that left drivers tenderly picking their way along the street.

David Cathcart found Carrera and immediately hired him to begin cutting up the trunks, fearing that a similar windstorm would arrive Thursday night. Then he went to rent more chain saws.

Carrera, a landscape gardener in Pasadena, has “never seen anything like this,” he said.

By 8:30 a.m., he’d already cut up large chunks of tree trunk. In landscaping, “there hasn’t been any work,” Carrera said, pulling on the ignition of his saw, "until now.”


L.A. reacts to high winds on Twitter

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

Pasadena the 'epicenter' of windstorm, city manager says

 -- Sam Quinones


Photo: Gardener Julio Carrera cuts through downed trees in Pasadena. Credit: Sam Quinones / Los Angeles Times