Shortly after 5 a.m. today, Pasadena city officials declared a state of emergency due to extremely high Santa Ana winds, which toppled trees and knocked down power lines, resulting in at least one fire.
No casualties were reported as a result of overnight winds reaching speeds of 75 mph, according to the Pasadena Police Department. A visual inspection of some properties in Old Pasadena struck by fallen trees showed damage to some structures, but an estimate had not been established.
Shortly after 11 a.m., police reported 47 incidents of power lines knocked down by fallen trees. The LA Times reported that 42 Pasadena homes were “red tagged,” or deemed uninhabitable, by building inspectors. Another 200 structures were under investigation.
About 4,000 Pasadena residents were without power today, and Altadena experienced a total blackout.
Parts of San Marino, South Pasadena, Glendale and Highland Park also reported going without power. Arcadia also declared a formal state of emergency.
Pasadena library branches were closed and classes at Pasadena City College were canceled. The Times reported that half of the residents of South Pasadena were without water.
Countywide, 330,000 people lost electrical power, according to estimates reported by City News Service.
Pasadena’s Emergency Operations Center was activated early today, with officials assessing the city street by street. Officials in Pasadena, Arcadia and Glendale closed schools due to the high winds. According to an advisory, Arcadia schools will remain closed until Monday. Pasadena school officials will decide later tonight whether to open schools Friday.
Schools in Alhambra, San Marino, San Gabriel, Monrovia, Azusa and Glendora were also closed today, according to ABC news.
A shelter for displaced families has been established at Robinson Park Center, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
The powerful winds were expected to return tonight, according to the National Weather Service.
“The priority right now is clearing the streets and restoring power,” Pasadena city spokeswoman Ann Erdman said in a prepared statement. “Pasadena Water and Power crews are responding as quickly as possible; they are not responding to downed cable TV lines.”
Police reported receiving emergency calls from residents who could not contact elderly neighbors, clogging the city’s 911 emergency phone system. There were 248 calls for service from 11 p.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. today.
“We are asking Pasadenans to please stay indoors if at all possible and use the appropriate numbers, and to check on elderly neighbors,” said Pasadena Police Lt. Phlunte Riddle. “Please don’t use 911 unless it is a life-threatening emergency.”
The city has established two information lines: (626) 564-0199 and (626) 564-0299. Also visit cityofpasadena.net.