December 2, 2011 – Southern California Hit by 100 MPH Winds: Pedestrians view trees blown over during a wind storm Thursday Dec. 1, 2011 in Pasadena, Calif. High winds flipped over trees and trucks and knocked out power to more than 300,000 California customers.
Some of the worst winds in years blasted through California overnight, sweeping through canyons, gusting up to 100 mph. Thousands remained without power Friday, and Los Angeles International Airport was closed down. High winds ripping through Utah have overturned several semi-trucks, knocked out power to more than 50,000 customers and prompted school closures.
Winds gusting up to 100 miles an hour whipped through the west San Gabriel Valley overnight causing trees to snap and power lines to fall. The city of Pasadena declared a state of emergency. Schools are closed in La Canada-Flintridge, Pasadena, Arcadia, Monrovia, Sierra Madre, San Marino and Altadena. Pasadena Police Chief Philip Sanchez said the city opened its emergency operations center at City Hall about midnight. City officials are asking citizens to stay indoors. “If you don’t need to be out, shelter in place,” said Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez. Sanchez reports there are at least 200 down power lines in Pasadena and as many as 270 trees. The weather caused multiple fires, including one that resulted in one person being critically injured and three others were hurt near the intersection of Penn Street and Fair Oaks Avenue. More than 20 intersections are without power.
Sierra Madre has also declared a state of emergency. City officials report that at least 20 structures have been damaged. Officials have asked that residents conserve water and use extreme caution when leaving their homes. Pasadena has asked for the public works departments of surrounding cities to provide assistance. Officials have been in contact with the National Weather Service. City officials had attempted to reach Pasadena City College and ask that they close for the day, but have been unsuccessful in attempts to contact them. Damage from the wind extends in a wide swath from East Los Angeles, north to Altadena and as far east as Arcadia. A tree split an apartment complex in the 1200 block of North Hudson and 37 people were evacuated, said Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian. A Red Cross evacuation center was set up at Jackie Robinson Center for those people, she said. A falling tree damaged a gas station at the corner of San Gabriel and Colorado Boulevard. A person was also stuck in their car parked at a Pasadena Denny’s after a tree fell on the vehicle, Derderian said. Injuries were unknown. Derderian said the department was swarmed with wind related service calls. “It was literally one call after another,” she said.
The city has also established its emergency operation center at Pasadena City Hall. Department heads, supervisors, and members of the city’s strategic operating committee are coordinating in response to the event. High winds could last for as long as 36 hours into Friday, weather officials said. Southern California Edison officials said they are working diligently to restore power. The San Gabriel Valley, Pasadena and 210 corridor areas are the hardest hit,” said Edison spokeswoman Vanessa McGrady. McGrady said restoring power and reacting to wind damage would continue to be a struggle. “It is a moving target,” she said. “Be safe, be patient, we are on it.”
The Master of Disaster