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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Chainsaw Gang

They came

They sawed

They conquered.

We were released from captivity on the block yesterday when a team of CDCR Prisoners came with chainsaws. CDCR, for those who don't click the link, stands for California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. You've gotta know these guys are the ones for which Correction and Rehabilitation are working, because I don't think you give chainsaws to the hard cases.

It took the better part of the afternoon (they had three giants to slay) but they did it. Bravo. Thanks for releasing us, gentlemen. Don't think I don't see the irony.


Storm Updates from Pasadena PIO:

Today, 4:30 pm
 
The winds have died down, and the city of Pasadena continues its round-the-clock efforts as we transition from emergency response to disaster recovery.

Here is an update on services and infrastructure.
Shelter

The shelter at Robinson Park Center, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave., closed this morning and has returned to recreation programming.  Robinson Park Center will also be open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for residents without Power. Residents can play basketball, table games, watch TV and stay warm.

All other City of Pasadena community centers are scheduled to be closed Sunday, Dec. 4.  However, staff will continue to assess power outages and community need to determine if a center should remain open. In the event overnight care is needed, the shelter at Robinson Park will be reactivated and announced.

Trees and Streets

All primary and secondary arterial roadways are passable today, with cut-up trees and other debris moved to the side of the roads for pickup.  Assessment of residential streets is continuing today to determine how many need tree and debris removal to become passable.

Removal of the debris still along the side of the roads will be trucked to two county facilities near Eaton Canyon – the L.A. County Public Works Eaton Yard and the Hastings Spreading Basin.  There it will be chipped and used for mulch citywide.  The removal is expected to take two to four weeks and the chipping could take four to six months depending on the volume of material. 

All city parks are undergoing damage assessments today.

The overall urban forest is being assessed to identify trees that are leaning and in danger of falling.

The removal and clearing of trees that are not in the public right of way is the responsibility of private property owners.  Those who suffered damage to vehicles, homes or other property caused by fallen city trees or tree limbs should contact their private insurers for proper handling of claims.

Trash Service

Residents who normally would have had trash, yard waste and recycling pickup on Thursday are receiving this service today. Routes are being cleared today for Monday trash pickup areas.

Electricity

Power has been restored to 95 percent of affected customers. The remaining 313 electric customers should be restored to service within 72 hours. Priority is given to customers with life-safety concerns and where further structural or electric-system damage is a risk.

Anaheim Water and Power as well as Burbank Water and Power have provided mutual aid assistance to Pasadena Water and Power as the unique challenges of isolated outages are being handled on a customer-by-customer basis.  Collectively more than 80 power personnel are working in the field to restore power as quickly as possible.

Although the bulk of the electric grid has been restored and is stable, there are individual properties throughout Pasadena. Each of these isolated outages has its unique challenges and safety considerations.

Some properties in a small section of Northwest Pasadena are served by Southern California Edison and should call (800) 661-1191 to report outages.

Water

Water outages throughout Pasadena were largely due to uprooted trees that have ruptured service lines under sidewalks and streets. Water field crews are handling these isolated cases on a customer-by-customer basis, around the clock, and estimate that water service will be restored to all remaining 10 customers with 24 to 36 hours.

Temporary solutions for service restoration are being used in certain situations; permanent repairs will be made over the next few weeks.

Damages to portions of the roof at Sunset Reservoir have been repaired. One of the basins, which holds five million gallons, will be out of service until it can be cleaned and recertified by public health officials. Customers can rest assured that no contaminated water was pumped in Pasadena’s water distribution system and water is safe to drink throughout the community.

Pasadena has a total water storage capacity of 110 million gallons – an adequate supply for all customers while Sunset Reservoir is partially out of service. Pasadena Water and Power is providing assistance to South Pasadena while a portion of that city’s water distribution system is offline due to wind-related damage.

Neither the newly renovated Windsor Reservoir, with its 2,772 rooftop solar panels, nor the new Monk Hill Water Treatment Plant sustained any damages.

Approximately 25 customers in Northwest Pasadena are experiencing low water pressure due to pumps that are offline in in Edison’s territory where power outages remain. Edison officials have been asked to prioritize restoration of power in this area so normal water pressure can resume as soon as possible.

Safety

Everyone should stay clear of compromised, overhead electric, cable and telephone lines. Do not attempt to remove trees that are touching any utility line. A list of tree-care professionals with expertise in electrical safety and tree health is available under the FYI section at www.cityofpasadena.net.

Athletic Fields

All athletic fields in city parks are closed until Monday, Dec. 5, due to debris and unsafe playing conditions.

Parking Restrictions

Enforcement of all normal parking restrictions will go back into effect at 2 a.m. Sunday.  Red Flag parking restrictions in hillside areas have been canceled.

Scams

Verify all credentials of anyone offering to perform inspection or repair work. Call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241 if you suspect a scam.

More Information

To report fallen public trees and hazardous tree conditions, call (626) 744-4321.

To report downed power lines, call (626) 564-0199 or (626) 564-0299.

Customer service representatives are on duty around the clock, documenting all call details and forwarding to appropriate staff for resolution. Reports can also be made at the online Citizens Service Center at www.cityofpasadena.net/csc.

Pasadena residents and others who want to sign up for local alerts can go to www.cityofpasadena.net/fire/PLEAS or www.nixle.com.


PASADENA WINDSTORM UPDATE – BY THE NUMBERS
Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011

• 1,372 incidents have been logged in by the Public Works Department since Wednesday.

• 3 of 5 public art pieces at Walnut Street and Foothill Boulevard were damaged. 2 have been stabilized and 1 remains down.

• 3 areas of the San Pasqual pedestrian bridge in the Arroyo Seco were damaged by a fallen tree. The damage will be assessed fully after the tree has been removed.

• A 12-inch diameter concrete drainage pipe that outlets to the street through 4 curb drains was exposed due to a fallen tree at 1824-1826 El Sereno Ave. Public Works engineers will conduct an evaluation next week.

• 325 miles of streets were impacted by storm debris – falling trees, tree limbs, utility poles and/or wires. The primary goal has been to move debris to the side of the road so at least one lane in each direction is open. Debris will be removed over the coming weeks.
     * 100 percent of arterial streets are accessible
     * 100 percent of secondary streets are accessible
     * The percentage of accessible residential streets is unknown at this time

• 34 traffic signals reported for repair
     * 8 were not Pasadena and were referred to Caltrans and the county of Los Angeles
     * Of the remaining 26, immediate/temporary repairs were completed on 18 with remaining eight pending

• 23 street lights reported for repair
     * Immediate/temporary repairs were completed on 18, with the remaining 5 pending

• 99 percent of Pasadena Water and Power customers are operational. Crews still working on restoring service to 400 electric and 150 water customers

• 37 people were transported by Pasadena ARTs buses to a temporary shelter at Robinson Park Center. Twenty-five remained until late Friday afternoon when they were relocated. One senior citizen walk-in was later reported and remains at the shelter.

• Only 4 known injuries

• Trees
     * More than 600 street trees fell and an unknown number of street trees were severely damaged
     * 67 trees fell at Brookside Golf Course and 120 more were severely damaged
     * The number of trees that fell or were severely damaged in city parks is unknown at this time

• 5 building inspectors have inspected approximately 200 homes with varying levels of damage
     * 46 housing units have been red-tagged, 40 in the same apartment building
     * 13 structures have been yellow-tagged.

• Street clearing
     * 160 Public Works Department field employees were on duty Thursday and 160 on Friday
     * 29 workers from Los Angeles County Department of Public Works were on duty Thursday and 32 on Friday
     * 122 field employees from contractors were on duty Thursday and Friday

• Fire Calls
     * From 8 p.m. on Nov. 20 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 2, the Fire Department was dispatched to the following:
          - 57 fire calls
          -  42 medical calls
          -  109 service calls
          -  163 wires or other electrical system-related calls
          -  15 natural gas-related calls
          -  Total = 386 (roughly 8 times the normal call volume)
     * 11 other agencies assisted us on 94 calls. At our peak, we had 27 units from other agencies handling calls in our city
     * Pasadena Fire Department regularly has 7 engines, 2 trucks and 5 ambulances available in the city and added 4 engines and 1 patrol to supplement capacity on Thursday

• Police Calls
     * From 10 p.m. on Nov. 30 to 1 p.m. on Dec. 2, the Pasadena Police Department Communication Center processed 4,650 calls for service including 9-1-1 and non-emergency requests.
     * During the same operational period the Police Department called back or extended the shift of on-duty personnel, including:
          -  13 police officers
          -  11 Police Volunteers
     * 248 pending incidents to be investigated were reported on Dec. 1

Last night, 9:14 pm


PASADENA WIND STORMS – BY THE NUMBERS

The following information is based on assessments through late afternoon Friday, Dec. 2, and should be considered preliminary and subject to change.  Information will be updated as it becomes available.

325 miles of streets were impacted by storm debris – falling trees, tree limbs, utility poles and/or wires.  The primary goal has been to move debris to the side of the road so at least one lane in each direction is open.  Debris will be removed over the coming weeks.
100 percent of arterial streets are accessible
90 percent of secondary streets are accessible
The percentage of residential streets is unknown at this time

34 traffic signals reported for repair
8 were not Pasadena and were referred to Caltrans and the county of Los Angeles
Of the remaining 26, immediate/temporary repairs were completed on 18 with remaining eight pending

23 street lights reported for repair
Immediate/temporary repairs were completed on 18, with the remaining five pending

99 percent of Pasadena Water and Power customers are operational.  Crews still working on restoring service to 400 electric and 150 water customers

37 people were transported by Pasadena ARTs buses to a temporary shelter at Robinson Park Center. Twenty-five remained until late Friday afternoon when they were relocated. One senior citizen walk-in was later reported and remains at the shelter.

Only 4 known injuries

The Sunset Reservoir roof was damaged, requiring the reservoir to be drained and disinfected and the roof repaired.

Trees
More than 600 street trees fell and an unknown number of street trees were severely damaged
67 trees fell at Brookside Golf Course and 120 more were severely damaged
The number of trees that fell or were severely damaged in city parks is unknown at this time

5 building inspectors have inspected approximately 200 homes with varying levels of damage
46 housing units have been red-tagged, 40 in the same apartment building
13 structures have been yellow-tagged.

Street clearing
160 Public Works Department field employees were on duty Thursday and 160 on Friday
29 workers from Los Angeles County Department of Public Works were on duty Thursday and 32 on Friday
122 field employees from contractors were on duty Thursday and Friday

Fire Calls
From 8 p.m. on Nov. 20 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 2, the Fire Department was dispatched to the following:
57 fire calls
42 medical calls
109 service calls
163 wires or other electrical system-related calls
15 natural gas-related calls
Total = 386 (roughly 8 times the normal call volume)
11 other agencies assisted us on 94 calls.  At our peak, we had 27 units from other agencies handling calls in our city
Pasadena Fire Department regularly has 7 engines, 2 trucks and 5 ambulances available in the city and added 4 engines and 1 patrol to supplement capacity on Thursday

Police Calls
From 10 p.m. on Nov. 30 to 1 p.m. on Dec. 2, the Pasadena Police Department Communication Center processed 4,650 calls for service including 9-1-1 and non-emergency requests.
During the same operational period the Police Department called back or extended the shift of on-duty personnel, including:
13 police officers
11 Police Volunteers
o   248 pending incidents to be investigated were reported on Dec. 1

18 comments:

Dina said...

Your photos and text = the perfect post. Just amazing!

dive said...

Glad there were so few injuries after such a horrendous storm, Petrea.
Shame on your penal system for dressing those guys in Gitmo Orange. They should have been stripped to the waist and oiled for the delectation of the local population.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Yep, literally the chainsaw gang... Bet they got a good workout yesterday... They say we're suppose to have more winds this weekend???

Kate said...

The small number of fatalities and injuries is more than remarkable...almost unbelievable.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, Dina!

Dive, despite the glorious sun it wasn't quite warm enough to go shirtless. And I don't think California law says anything about subjecting criminals to delectation, though it may depend upon the crime.

Kalei's BF, I heard that, too (about more storms). We've had a lot of rumors. I talked to a couple of the crew men who told me they also work fire crews. These guys do the really hard physical work. With one hand, they were lifting chunks of wood that two of my big, tough neighbor guys couldn't lift together.

Kate, I gawk at the fallen trees around town and it's as though they chose not to fall on the houses. They came so close. I am amazed.

Bellis said...

Fantastic photos! better than the ones on the LA Times web page yesterday. And the Chain Gang song is going round in my head now. It's impressive the way things get fixed so quickly after a disaster. The insurance dealt with our claim for the cars immediately and were very sympathetic and helpful. And thank goodness our electricity came back. I feel sorry for all those people stll without it.

Laurie said...

Little sister South Pas is lagging behind. Not enough resources for this cleanup to go quickly and still no power for significant part of city. Including our place. I'm still having trouble dealing w so many lost trees.

Latino Heritage said...

Brilliant, clever post.

John Sandel said...

The middle of the road
Is my private cul-de-sac …

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Has anyone heard from Karin? I keep calling but no answer.

Petrea Burchard said...

Karin's fine. They just don't have any power or phone service up there. She was sweet enough to take me on a couple of errands when I couldn't get my car off the block the other day.

Laurie, I'm glad you've been able to post. I don't know why South Pas should lag behind; certainly all the resources at use here are not Pasadena City services but state and county as well. There could have been some concern about getting our street taken care of quickly as we have live wires in a few spots and both ends of the street were blocked by fallen trees, so emergency vehicles couldn't get in.

Although as far as I know, we still have the live wires, so fingers crossed that we don't have those emergencies.

Katie said...

Excellent photos documenting a rare occurrence on your street. That's some serious hard work for those guys. Any idea what the city is doing with all the cut up trees? I hope the rumors of more wind are just that.

Michael Coppess said...

I wondered how you got those guys to walk in an orderly line. Great story and photos. Gonna be a long time to clean this one up.

Trish said...

at work prisoners are REQUIRED to wear the orange---less change they'll wander off. Though, you give them chainsaws, gasoline and hand tools, I'm not sure I'd stop one if he were wandering off. That and any tree worker should be wearing bright orange anyway---less chance of getting squished by having someone not notice you and drop a huge log on your head, messy and lots of paperwork, you know! ;-)

glad that you've been unleashed to go about your more regular business now, though that quiet spot in the middle of the street was, I'm sure, pleasant for a while.

Bellis---oh nooo! Well, happy shopping!

We continue to watch and think of y'all and know that all will return to "normal" soon, just in time for the Tournament of Roses mishegas to head to town!

Petrea Burchard said...

Katie, I don't know about what will be done--but I'm guessing there'll be a lot of free mulch soon.

Michael, I'm sure the city will have to prioritize. Let's face it, we've got to look good for the Tournament of Roses and we've got less than a month, not to mention a limited budget like all other cities have right now. I doubt the city wants us to pitch in and help clean up city property (liability, you know), but whatever we can do to clean our own properties will be a boon.

Trish, you make several good points! Thank you.

Julie said...

Haha! Brilliant post!

And glad you're all ok!

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, Julie!

Ms M said...

Loved your photos and captions! And glad streets are being cleared.