Updated at the bottom with water issues in Northeast L.A. Also, photos of Oscar De La Hoya's driveway. Not pretty. Meteorologists say the storm will be back in full force tonight.
Originally posted at 9:35 a.m.
This is the closest Pasadena kids will ever get to a snow day: KNX news radio is reporting that the most insane Santa Ana winds in at least 35 years have ravaged the northeast L.A. County town even harder than the rest of the region. All schools in the Pasadena Unified School District are closed, and terrified residents are shuttered in their houses. Pasadena is being called the “epicentre” of this epic windstorm.
About 5,000 people are reportedly without power. Trees are downed on nearly every Pasadena street, and up to 97-mph winds are flinging debris at anyone brave enough to go outside.
But staying indoors, in some instances, has proven just as dangerous. Meteorologist Jim Cantore just posted this video of a perfectly healthy, quite sizeable tree that was downed — straight onto somebody's home — at Daisy and Morningside.
Pasadena officials have declared a state of emergency. So has next-door Sierra Madre.
“We have extensive debris in the roadways,” a city official tells KNX. The Sierra Madre City Council is holding an emergency meeting at noon today to plot against the windstorm. They've asked residents to conserve water while the “state of emergency” is in place.
“OMG Altadena and Pasadena looks like a war zone,” Tweets one Pasadena resident. “Everything is closed today. No work either.”
Public Works officials tell KNX that no injuries have been reported so far. But the valleys and mountainous regions are teaming with emergency workers ready to aid those in the trail of destruction of these out-of-control Santa Anas. Firefighters are bracing themselves for expected brush fires.
Update: Dozens of reports are coming in of trees crushing cars and houses.
(In fact, Karen Foshay at KCET tells us one of the station's designers who lives out there can't come in today, as his car fell victim to a wind-bowled tree last night.)
And a sign out front a Target branch along the 210 freeway could be mistaken for one such trunk:
Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogart tells KNX that “the emergency was declared at 1:30, but of course people were working even before that. An assessment is underway of the [damage], which appears to be extensive.”
No kidding. Even strongman Oscar De La Hoya is weak in the knees:
“Que la chin*#% a huge tree fell over my driveway,” the boxing champion Tweeted this morning. “Lol my house manager is going to get chorro with all the mess the winds are causing.” And later: “I'm actually frozen not knowing what to think. How in the hell can we leave the house. Hijo de su!!! And that tree is huge.”
Californians are known to be huge wimps when it comes to weather — declaring a “state of emergency” after any old rainstorm — but when the Oscar De La Hoya's about to wet his spanks, the rest of us officially have permission to freak out.
Update by Dennis Romero, 1:03 p.m.: Apparently power outages are causing pumping station problems for the L.A. Department of Water and Power, which is now urging the following communities to conserve H20 as much as possible:
Nearby South Pasadena (a separate city) reportedly has similar water issues. Related? We don't know.
Live in one of those L.A. city communities and need the deets? Go here.
More apocalyptic storm photos on the next couple pages.