Wind topples dozens of trees, knocks out power for thousands in Fresno

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Trees were blown down city-wide in Fresno Thursday. 

High winds snapped and uprooted dozen of trees in a matter of hours.

“An intense amount of wind and the ground is saturated and soft, and the roots are loose, and boom the trees fall over,” Mark Standriff the director of communication and public affairs for the City of Fresno said. 

The perfect storm left crews fighting to keep up.

A downed tree blocked traffic on Clovis and Belmont Avenues. The weather was like something out of a movie for some.

“You could see the top of the roofs just like flipping off, just like coming off like Final Destination stuff,” Tammy Lara a nearby resident said. 

Fresno Fire responded after a tree crashed through a fence onto a house on Yosemite Ave. Another hit an apartment on Clinton Ave and First St.

In total 41 tree down locations were reported. Standriff said that’s about five times the call volume the city would normally see during a weather event, “and they’re all over so it’s really impacted the entire city,” he said.  

Bill Hickman was in his house on Dayton and Harrison Avenues when he heard a snapping noise.

“I looked out the window and I saw (the tree) come down, right behind me on this little pickup truck here,” he said. 

He said the truck is his son-in-law’s and fortunately it didn’t appear to be damaged.

Standriff said calls came in from every corner of the city, while PG&E reported thousands losing power.

Standriff said city crews will be answering calls 24/7 including through the holiday weekend. 

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