Tree falls on two homes, four cars in CdM

A eucalyptus tree fell Wednesday afternoon in Corona del Mar, striking two homes and damaging four cars. No injuries were reported.

While the season’s first significant rain fell throughout the day, it was unclear what caused the accident, said Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman Kathy Lowe.

Police and fire crews responded to Fourth Avenue, between Goldenrod and Heliotrope avenues, after receiving a call at 1:25 p.m., Lowe said.

All four cars were unoccupied. At least one of them suffered serious damage, while the homes appeared to have fewer problems, Lowe said.

The tree fell on the porch area of one home and on a wrought iron gate of another.

It was also unclear if the tree was on public or private property. City crews were working to remove it and another eucalyptus tree on Fourth Avenue on Wednesday evening.

Last month, another eucalyptus tree — of the same blue gum species — killed a motorist when it fell on a car waiting at a stop light in Costa Mesa on Irvine Avenue.

Arborists have been inspecting blue gums throughout Newport, said City Manager Dave Kiff.

The city plans to remove those that pose an immediate danger, he said, and may remove others in accordance with city policies.

Almost all of the blue gum trees in Corona del Mar and on the Balboa Peninsula have been analyzed, Kiff said, but arborists have not yet finished their recommendations.

Another tree — not a eucalyptus — fell on Lido Isle around 2:45 p.m. It damaged one home in the 700 block of Via Lido Soud, but caused no injuries. Kiff said that tree appeared to be on private property.

Other incidents were reported during the rain. There was a single-car crash on the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway on Wednesday afternoon.

California Highway Patrol officials said a white sedan speeding on the southbound 55 Freeway transition to the 73 toll road lost control and crashed. No injuries were reported.

In Costa Mesa, storm drains were flowing without problem, said interim Public Services Director Arnesto Munoz.

“Fortunately, the rain is coming down slowly,” he said. “It’s not a big storm where we get dumped on at once.”

Construction crews at the Newport Beach Civic Center site were working Wednesday to keep sediment and debris from flowing into the storm drains, said Public Works Director Steve Badum.

They worked a partial day Tuesday and may be able to work Thursday if the weather is dry enough, Badum said.

The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook Wednesday, forecasting that scattered showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms would continue into Thursday. Winds were forecast to gust up to 35 miles per hour Wednesday night.

As of Wednesday afternoon, a total of 0.5 inches of rain had fallen in the Newport-Mesa area.

Staff writer Joseph Serna also contributed to this report.



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