Oak falls onto power lines

An oak tree in a gully behind homes along the 500 block of Meadow Grove Street in La Cañada Flintridge came crashing down into power lines early Thursday morning, snapping a utility pole in half and cutting off electricity to as many as 582 homes or businesses in the area.

A short time later, Southern California Edison was able to reroute a local power grid and restore service to most of those customers, but four homes will remain without electricity until about 4 a.m. Friday, said Southern California Edison spokesman Charlie Coleman.

Efforts to restore power included a helicopter hovering just above the treetops near Meadow Grove and Oriole Road on Thursday afternoon as part of a delicate effort to raise a new utility pole replacing the one that was snapped like a twig by the weight of the tree's sudden collapse onto aerial cables.

The tree fell at 4:26 a.m., immediately taking out power to 582 customers, Coleman said.

By 5:31 a.m. Edison had restored service to all but 28 of them, and then 24 more by 12:35 p.m. — leaving just four homes in the dark tonight.

Edison crew members at the scene said recent storm conditions may have weakened the tree's hold in the ground.

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