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Storm blows in work for Glendale city crews

Calls for damage repairs are so great that officials hire contract workers to help out.

December 02, 2011|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

It could take until Sunday for Glendale Water & Power to restore power to all 300 customers who lost it during Wednesday’s wind storm, city officials warned Friday.

Crews worked around the clock to repair utility poles damaged in the storm, city spokesman Tom Lorenz said, adding that it could take all weekend to restore power lines due to the extent of the repairs.

“It’s just going to take time,” Lorenz said.

Some damage was temporarily fixed so power could be restored, but Lorenz said crews must return to make permanent repairs. That work will require additional outages, he said. They city has also hired three additional contract crews to assist in the effort, city officials said.

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As of Friday, crews had yet to determine when repairs to broken pole parts and downed wires would be completed in four neighborhoods, mostly along Graceland Way, Mesa Lila Road and Urquidez Avenue, and near Val Verde Place and Sycamore and La Crescenta avenues.

Caregiver Jesse Lewis, who tends to a bed-ridden Glendale woman at a home on Graceland Way, said the home had been without power since Thursday and, given the cold weather, she couldn’t imagine another few days without it.

“We are just working to get through this as it comes,” she said.

City crews were able to restore power just before 11 a.m. Friday to six La Crescenta schools, which held classes on Thursday without electricity, said Glendale Unified spokesman Steven Frasher.

As utility crews worked to restore power, residents and city crews began the arduous task of clearing damage caused by the brutal Santa Ana winds.

Public Works officials received more than 350 work orders for damage repair, including injured trees and broken limbs and traffic lights.

“The calls are still coming in,” Lorenz said on Friday.

City officials closed Verdugo Skate Park, the Glendale Sports Complex, Casa Adobe and Scholl Canyon Fields because it could take up to three weeks to clean up fallen trees, broken tree limbs and other debris at those locations.

Public Works Director Steve Zurn said that in his 25 years at the city, “I’ve never seen a wind storm with that much damage in Glendale.”

Lorenz advised residents who are looking to hire workers for wind-related clean up or repairs to be aware of potential scams, especially when workers ask for cash deposits.

Some buildings in Glendale sustained wind-related damage, but none were red tagged, Lorenz said.

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