Friday, December 2, 2011
Winter Wonderland, Pasadena Style
Usually Boz and I are alone for the a.m. perimeter check, not because we're the earliest risers but because our neighbors are up and and gone by the time we get out there. But yesterday we found them in the middle of the street in their jammies with dogs, kids and coffee cups.
In case you haven't heard, we had a wind storm Wednesday night. Sirens wailed. Power lines went down. City workers haven't stopped clearing debris, restoring power and evacuating people from nonfunctioning facilities to functioning ones since nature's tantrum began.
Many streets in Pasadena lost trees. I don't know how other trees landed, but as it happens our street was conveniently blocked at each end and unless you lived beyond the carnage you were not driving out.
Here's a panorama John took of one of our roadblock trees. This giant cedar was planted, I believe, in 1924. You can click on the photo to get the full effect. We're still in a bit of shock; I know our shady little street will be very different now.
Yesterday was a remarkable day. Like a snow day in the Midwest it felt different, wild, celebratory. People were out in the streets all day, people I haven't talked to in ages, people saying hello. We picked clementines--how did they hang onto the tree when a giant cedar could not stand?
John, Boz and I walked in the evening. On the smell of all those wounded trees was a trace of the Wendigo's perfume.
WINDSTORM UPDATE 12/2, 6 p.m.
From Ann Erdman, Pasadena's Public Information Officer
The city of Pasadena has made tremendous progress toward restoring the infrastructure in the wake of the severe windstorms that occurred Wednesday through Thursday.
Since the winds began, an unprecedented number of city staff and contractors have been working around the clock on 12-hour shifts to ensure the safety of the community, clearance of streets and restoration of utilities.
City crews have been working diligently to clear fallen trees and debris out of travel lanes on major thoroughfares along Pasadena’s 325 miles of streets. It could take weeks to remove all the debris from the public right of way.
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.
City refuse service resumed today. Residents who would have had Thursday service will have their trash, yard waste and recycling picked up on Saturday.
Power has been restored to 95 percent of affected customers – all but 400 electric customers and 150 water customers who will be restored to service within 24 to 36 hours. The unique challenges of isolated outages are being handled on a customer-by-customer basis.
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.
To report fallen public trees, hazardous tree conditions and downed power lines, call (626) 564-0199 or (626) 564-0299.
Pasadena residents and others who want to sign up for local alerts can go to www.cityofpasadena.net/fire/PLEAS or www.nixle.com.
More comprehensive information on status and progress will be available at www.cityofpasadena.net.