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Burbank becomes windy city

Laura Sturza

Residents are probably heaving sighs of relief this morning as

calmer winds take the place of the overwhelming ones that topped 65

mph earlier this week. The wreckage of downed trees and power lines

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left many in the city navigating the streets with caution.

"[The roads] are pretty hectic,” local document and film

deliveryman Salvador Garcia said Monday. “Some streets were closed

off, and you’ve got to watch out for falling debris.”

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Santa Ana winds arrived Sunday night on the heels of a hot spell

that had Burbank’s temperature reaching 85 that day. Winds were

expected to subside by this morning, with temperatures returning to

the seasonal norm of 60 to 70 degrees by Thursday, forecasters said.

City crews began working at 10 p.m. Sunday to repair power lines

damaged by trees that were torn from their roots -- leaving about

1,000 residents without power early Monday. Workers were laboring

Monday and Tuesday to clear at least 75 trees that fell on city

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property.

“Anybody that is outside needs to be very careful,” said Mike

Flad, director of Park, Recreation and Community Services. “It’s not

a good time to walk the dog, it’s not a good time to take a bike

ride. Branches can kill.”

People also should avoid lighting fireplaces or barbecues during a

severe windstorm because the activity sends out embers that could

ignite a fire, Fire Marshal Dave Starr said.

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Simon Ovakimian, 13, said the vibration was so strong, “we thought

there was going to be an earthquake or something.” His family

returned to its hillside home about 1 a.m. Monday to find a fallen

tree where they usually park their car.

Outside the Central Library, yellow tape cordoned off a fallen

50-year-old olive tree that had library staff approaching the

building with dropped jaws. Surprise was soon replaced by other

strong responses, since uprooted trees cannot be replanted.

“We’re just so sad. We all love that tree,” Supervising Librarian

Nancy Tidwell said.

The tree fell on the former spot of a bust of Abraham Lincoln,

which was moved to the new Buena Vista branch library that opened

last month.

“It’s lucky Lincoln wasn’t there or he would have been

assassinated again,” Tidwell said, quoting another staff member.


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