Strong Winds Rock the Foothills

The tent and supporting material for Ron Smith Christmas Tree Lot was damaged by Santa Ana winds that swept through the area on Tuesday night and Wednesday.
Photo by Mary O’KEEFE


Wednesday was a blustery day to say the least. The damage due to high winds was not as bad as it could have been but it was enough to remind residents what Santa Anas are all about.

The winds in the foothills’ area saw gusts from 35 mph to 50 mph. The higher winds were more western above Altadena, according to Kristen Stewart, meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The winds were strong here but on Magic Mountain Truck Trail in the Santa Clarita area winds were recorded at 104 mph, according to Stewart.

The Santa Anas usually occur in late fall into early winter and can extend into January so these winds were not unusual for this time of year.

At Ron Smith’s Christmas Tree Lot the winds revealed how damaging they can be as they ripped the business’ tent and damaged some poles and other equipment that had been placed just days before.

Smith has had a tree lot on Foothill Boulevard for many years. This year his lot is at 3322 Foothill Blvd., across from Bob Smith Toyota. Tim Kincade has managed the lot for Smith for many years.

Kincade said he received a call about damage to the lot about 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday night. That day the crew had just finished putting the pipes up for the tree display. When he arrived at the lot he found Glendale fire and police there, and the big white tent that would house many of the trees was a twisted mess.

“Thank goodness the trees hadn’t been unloaded,” he said.

But there was a lot of equipment that had been blown around the lot and crews began to gather and sort the damage.

“At least no one was hurt,” Kincade added.

He praised the fire personnel and police officers that arrived at the scene.

“They were awesome,” he said.

For the next few days, Kincade and the crew will be putting in a lot of hours as they repair, replace and rebuild the lot in time for the tree delivery.

In the far north area of Glendale, many residents dealt with power outages.

Glendale Water and Power reported two major outages in the Montrose/La Crescenta area, mostly north of Foothill.

“All were wind related,” according to Solene Manoukian, Glendale spokeswoman.

Some of the power was restored within a few hours while other areas, which included 932 customers, were without power for a longer period.

The damage that City of Glendale crews responded to included a city tree down on a car in the 1600 block of Don Carlos Avenue, a city tree down and fence damage in the 3700 block of Markridge Road, two small city trees down without reported damage, the 2200 block of W. Kenneth Road and the 1200 block of Justin Avenue. There were also two trees down in parks – one in Montrose Park and the other in Pelanconi Park. City limbs were down with no reported damage in the areas of the 600 block of North Brand Avenue, 3900 block of Community Avenue, 3700 block of Danny Street and the 2000 block of Cañada Boulevard.