Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sierra Madre Windstorm Blog Update #3

The City of Sierra Madre City Council held an emergency meeting today to declare a state of emergency as a result of the severe windstorm. The declaration of the state of emergency is necessary because the response will exceed the availability of City resources, and it will be necessary to request resources from outside the City. In addition, the proclamation is the first step in responding to and recovering from emergencies and will assist in accessing state or federal disaster relief programs or funds, if they become available.

Sierra Madre continues to have downed trees, damaged public and private properties, damaged utility infrastructure, and mass debris resulting from the windstorm. Electrical power remains out for much of the City. In addition, approximately 28 structures were reported to have possible damage. The City’s Building and Safety staff have inspected all of these structures, 7 structures were red tagged; 6 structures were yellow tagged as restricted. The remaining 15 structures have minor building damages. Many of these reported structures were reported due to fallen trees.

City crews have been working through the night and within 24 hours it is anticipated that all roads will be reopened, unless severe winds resume this evening. At this time, the City’s main east/west arterial, Sierra Madre Boulevard is open to traffic. It is anticipated that it will take three to four weeks to completely remove all debris from the public right-of-way. The City’s main priority is life safety, inspecting damaged structures, and reopening roads.

Residents are urged to remain home if possible, for their safety and to keep roads open to emergency and repair crews. While temporary power has been restored to the City’s water system, residents are asked to continue to conserve water.

Southern California Edison continues to work to restore services to affected residents. Customers are asked to stay away from any downed or dangling lines. A downed line or dangling wire is dangerous-even if it appears not to be live.

Please call the City’s main line at (626) 355-7135 for non-emergency calls. Only call 911 for life-threatening emergencies, downed electrical lines, or damaged buildings.