By Mary O’KEEFE
The foothills are cleaning up from the windstorm last night, just in time for tonight’s blast.
Those who drive down Foothill Boulevard today have seen the damage inflicted by the high winds that occurred overnight. Several trees were uprooted and limbs torn from the trunks of large trees. Traffic signals along Foothill from Ramsdell Avenue east through La Cañada Flintridge are dark. The sound of chainsaws echo through the air as residents cut the fallen trees to truck them away.
“From Ramsdell Avenue west and south of the [Foothill] 210 freeway and Montrose have power, “said Sgt. Debra Herman, from the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.
Those east of Ramsdell Avenue to Pasadena are reporting power outages. Several transformers have been damaged and power poles broken in half by the winds. Crews from Southern California Edison have been out since the outages began on Wednesday night. SCE representatives report over 200,000 customers have informed them of power outages due to winds.
As of Thursday afternoon the sheriff’s station had no reported injuries related to the winds. However with the traffic signals off, the potential for accidents is high with drivers coming home from work.
“All drivers have to stop at the signals when they are [out],” Herman said.
When traffic lights are out, the intersection is to be treated like a four-way stop intersection.
“And [drivers] need to slow down,” Herman advised.
The winds are predicted to continue throughout the night into Friday afternoon. Between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Wednesday night, wind speeds of 97 miles an hour were recorded at Whitaker Peak near Santa Clarita, said Bonnie Bartling, National Weather Service.
“There is a northeast wind tonight with gusts up to 40 miles per hour in the hills through Friday morning then they will decrease [quickly],” Bartling said.
She added that winds on Thursday afternoon had already been recorded at 45 mph in the area and could increase.
“Tonight (Thursday) will be more typical Santa Ana winds,” she added.
The winds in the mountains will be less, but the valleys are expected to experience stronger winds.
“And these are cold Santa Anas,” she added.
Lows are expected to be around 45 degrees.
Power in the Crescenta Valley area of Glendale has been spotty. Glendale Water and Power reported that at one point 10,000 customers were affected by power outages due to at least a half of dozen power poles sustaining damage.
As of 3:45 p.m. all but 200 GWP customers had their power restored.
According to the City of Glendale’s windstorm update:
*At least 110 trees have been uprooted, 109 large limbs have fallen and about 20 vehicles have been damaged along with some homes reporting roof damage throughout the city of Glendale.
*Public Works Department continues to clear streets and restore traffic signal operations. About 40 traffic signals throughout the city are not operational.
*Police have responded to calls of assistance and to assist in traffic control. They continue to patrol the city and respond to calls from residents and businesses.
*Fire Department crews will be out through Friday night and the city’s Emergency Operational Center will open at 6 p.m. Thursday night on a limited basis.
*Verdugo Skate Park, Glendale Sports Complex, Casa Adobe and Scholl Canyon fields area all closed. Some parks may be open with areas closed due to debris.
*All Glendale Unified School District schools were open on Thursday and plan to be open on Friday. Schools will notify parents if there is a change. Six of the schools in the Crescenta Valley area were without power, five of those six were SCE customers. The district will assess at 6 a.m. on Friday whether to open the schools or close them.
*According to Montrose Christmas Parade organizer Steve Pierce, Saturday’s parade is moving forward as planned.
For more information regarding the City of Glendale, visit the city’s website at www.ci.glendale.ca.us.
To ensure that state and federal financial resources are available to serve county residents impacted by the windstorms, County Mayor Michael D. Antonovich has declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles County.
Southern California Edison Offers Advice for Customers Without Power
La Crescenta Near Top of List of Areas to be Addressed
Southern California Edison (SCE) is asking customers without power in the San Gabriel Valley who have downed lines between their homes and power poles to call 911 and stay inside to remain safe until SCE crews can repair the lines.
It was expected that overhead lines would have power turned back on by crews starting in the late afternoon Thursday, though outages are still being reported. Customers are asked to stay inside to ensure they stay away from any downed or dangling lines between homes and power poles. A downed line or dangling wire is dangerous, even if it appears not to be live.
Crews will be working along a corridor in the San Gabriel Valley, starting with La Crescenta, and will move to neighboring cities Sierra Madre, Altadena, Arcadia, Monrovia, Alhambra and Glendora.
Severe winds and debris have been hampering power restoration efforts by SCE crews, and some customers without power should prepare for the possibility of being without service overnight and possibly longer.
High winds have knocked down thousands of trees and strewn debris across wide areas, limiting and, in some cases, preventing access to equipment. Hundreds of personnel with SCE have assessed damages throughout its 50,000-square-mile service territory. Crews are working to restore service as safely and quickly as possible in areas where they have access.
As of 3:30 p.m. PST today, SCE had 215,086 customers without service.
High winds are forecast for tonight, which could result in more power outages and damage similar to what the region experienced today.
Hardest hit areas
The hardest hit areas as of 3:30 p.m. today were: San Gabriel, San Bernardino, Alhambra, Altadena, Arcadia, El Monte, La Cañada Flintridge, Monrovia and Sierra Madre.
Also heavily impacted were San Marino, Temple City, El Segundo, Long Beach, Torrance, Upland, Crestline, Barstow and Sun City.
With high winds forecast, SCE wants to remind its customers to be prepared in case of weather-related outages and suggests:
· If you know someone who is dependent on electrically operated medical equipment, make backup power arrangements in case a power outage affects that equipment.
· Watch for traffic signals that may be out. Approach those intersections as four-way stops.
· Make sure you have a battery-operated radio and flashlights. Check the batteries to make sure they are fresh. Use flashlights for lighting during a power outage; do not use candles because they pose a significant fire hazard.
· Do not use equipment indoors that is designed for outdoor cooking. Such equipment can emit carbon monoxide and other toxic gases.
· Leave the doors of your refrigerator and freezer closed to keep your food as fresh as possible. An unopened refrigerator can keep foods cold enough for a couple of hours. A half full freezer will stay cold for up to 24 hours and a full freezer for 48 hours. If you must eat food that was refrigerated or frozen, check it carefully for signs of spoilage.
· Check on your neighbors to make sure everyone is safe.
· If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into the generator, using a heavy-duty extension cord. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews.
For updates on the wind affected areas of Crescenta Valley and surrounding communities, visit www.cvweekly.com.