As powerful Santa Ana winds howled Wednesday night, Glendale resident Nareq Keshishyan could only stand and watch as his family’s Christmas tree operation on Highland Avenue and Glenoaks Boulevard was torn to shreds.
Winds lifted a massive tent from the Evergreen Christmas Trees lot and tossed dozens of Christmas trees around the property, he said.
“We tried getting close, but it was way too dangerous,” Keshishyan said. “There was nothing we could do but stare and watch.”
The Keshishyan’s second lot at Colorado and Everett streets also sustained damage during the windstorm.
He estimated the winds caused about $20,000 in damage, which he said was a huge blow to the family’s income.
“It is what it is, just as long as we break even,” he said.
The Keshishyan’s have opened their Christmas tree lots on Thanksgiving weekend for the past 10 years.
Every year, the family has used some of the proceeds from Christmas tree sales to visit Armenia, where he said they donate to an orphanage and buy food for small villages.
“This disaster just set us back another two weeks,” Keshishyan’s sister, Adelina Keshishyan, said.
The damage sustained on Wednesday may prevent the trip to Armenia this year, but she said the family still plans to donate money and food.
The tree lots remained open Thursday as the family attempted to sell dozens of trees that had not been damaged.