The New Year was ushered in with cold temperatures and fierce winds.
By Mary O’KEEFE
he end of 2014 saw some windy and rainy nights that not only caused Crescenta Valley residents to get out their heavy sweaters and turn up the heat but trees fell that were thought would stand forever … with a strong push from Mother Nature.
Overnight on Dec. 30 and Dec. 31, the CV area withstood winds with gusts up to 50 mph. In the evening of Dec. 30, the wind uprooted a huge mature tree in the 4900 block of Ramsdell Avenue. The massive trunk crashed into the living room and dining room of a home.
“It sounded like a freight train coming down,” said neighbor Stephanie Rodriquez.
Luckily the residents were not home at the time.
“Our real worry was our cat that ran away after the accident,” the resident of the home said.
The cat was found later during the night. A private tree removal service began removing the tree the next day. The structure of the home will be examined once the tree is entirely removed.
In the 2800 block of Alabama Street, another large tree was uprooted by the wind, crushing a car that was parked on the street. In the Briggs Terrace area, a small tree also toppled over due to winds. On Mountain Pine Avenue a eucalyptus tree fell onto a storage shed. Throughout the Crescenta Valley branches littered the street as winds continued to rage.
During last week’s windstorm, Glendale city crews responded to 16 city trees and five private trees that caused obstructions including a large city ficus that fell in the 700 block of West Dryden and blocked a driveway and sidewalk; a large city oak in the 3100 block of Piedmont Avenue fell and blocked the street; a third large city tree fell in the 3600 block of El Lado and blocked the entire street; five large private trees fell and fully or partially blocked streets and sidewalks; 13 smaller or medium sized trees fell but caused no damage.
The city of Glendale crews were out early to clear everything.
Earlier in December there was some wind accompanied by rain. A large section of an 80-year-old Stone pine tree crashed onto a lawn. Again, luckily, there were no injuries. The owner of the home, Rich Jessup, was home at the time.
“I was sitting in my chair watching the news when I heard crack, crack, crack then it sounded like a freight train,” he said at the time.
The tree had cracked from the center of its trunk; crews went to the home to assess and decided to cut the rest of the tree down.
Temperatures are getting closer to normal – 68 degree Fahrenheit – and no rain or winds are in the forecast through next Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. The calm conditions are a perfect time for residents to look around their property and identify those trees that may cause concern during the next wind event.
Trees that are on residents’ property are their responsibility. Residents can hire an arborist to assess a tree, or trees, of concern.
“If there was a complaint of a private tree, the city of Glendale would send a code enforcement inspector or arborist (depending on the complaint) and if dangerous would require the homeowner to remove it at their expense,” according to Tom Lorenz, city spokesman. “If it is a city tree, and people have a concern, they certainly can call our public works department and we would inspect and remove if necessary. We always try to replace city trees that do have to come down.”