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Winds bring darkness, damage

Trees topple and power goes out, but there's much more trouble elsewhere.

December 01, 2011|By Jason Wells, jason.wells@latimes.com
  • A tree fell onto an adjacent property at a home on the 3000 block of Fairesta St. in La Crescenta on Thursday, December 1, 2011. Strong winds caused damage throughout the area. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)
A tree fell onto an adjacent property at a home on the 3000…

Glendale may have escaped much of the mayhem and destruction seen in neighboring cities after Wednesday night’s powerful Santa Ana winds, but the toll was still extensive.

At least 30 large trees were toppled throughout the city, smashing cars and bringing down power lines that caused isolated power outages, forcing six Crescenta Valley schools to hold classes without electricity.

No injuries were reported, but officials warned that it would take some time to clear debris and remove fallen trees. Broken tree limbs and other debris closed Verdugo Adobe Park on Thursday, and multiple trees were toppled at nearly every park, including at least 20 at Brand Park.

Trees also fell onto at least five cars in Glendale, and caused a mess in many neighborhood streets, including on North Jackson Street, where a roughly 45-foot-tall tree snapped and fell into the parkway.

“It's a pretty good piece of destruction here,” said David Fortune, who lives on the street.

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Emergency dispatchers for the region processed more than 1,700 calls during a 12-hour period starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday — a bulk of which were for major disasters in Pasadena, officials said.

The Glendale-based Verdugo Fire Communications Center, which handles 911 calls for 12 cities, dispatched crews to respond to 670 of the calls, well above the more typical 120 calls, said Glendale Fire Battalion Chief Greg Godfrey.

“It was a pretty significant night,” he said.

At one point during the windstorm, every fire engine in the region was responding to an incident, Godfrey added.

Glendale firefighters extinguished a few small grass and tree fires that ignited after electrical transformers exploded.

More destruction was expected to pelt the area Thursday night, with weather forecasters warning of continued high winds through Friday.

Glendale activated its emergency operations center on Thursday, as did the Pasadena Humane Society, which reported an influx of dogs that either got loose during the windy melee or no longer had a viable home due to property damage.

Animal control workers also fielded calls about injured birds and peacocks falling out of trees, spokeswoman Ricky Whitman said.

“It’s not just the dogs and cats, it’s also the wildlife,” she said.

Glendale Water & Power crews were able to restore service to all but about 200 of the roughly 10,000 customers who were without power at one point Thursday.

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