Northern California communities clean up in aftermath of powerful winds

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Communities across Northern California were hammered by constant and powerful wind Tuesday night into Wednesday, which left behind scattered tree branches, smashed cars and damaged homes in its wake.

‘A pretty gut-wrenching night of sleep’

On Portola Way in Sacramento’s Land Park neighborhood, Shannon McNerny says she and her family had a crazy wake-up call. 

“About 3:15 or something it shook the whole house,” McNerny said. 

A tree fell in between her and her neighbor’s house. The branches crushed her neighbor’s car. 

“And I think she parked her car in the driveway just so it wouldn’t be on the street because she never parks there,” McNerny said. 

McNerny says she’s counting her blessing as no one was hurt. 

“I am so grateful. I mean it clipped the roof; that’s where our little girl’s bedroom is on that side,” McNerny said. 

Nearby on 21st Street, another tree also fell taking out power poles and crushing a Toyota  SUV. 

Elsewhere, a branch cut into a Victorian on D Street and 13th Street in midtown. 

“It woke me at about 11 last night, and I thought something like that was going to happen to my bedroom,” said resident Scott Hilbert. 

It’s unclear whether there were any injuries. 

“It was a pretty gut wrenching night of sleep to say the least,” Hilbert said. 

Around Land Park, thousands of downed branches littered the fields. 

“It’s a mess. I’m kind of a little concerned about walking beneath the trees but if I don’t this dog is going to drive me crazy,” said David Ortega, who was walking his dog in Land Park. 

The wild weather and added obstacles, however, didn’t keep Mark Gresham from chipping a few balls at the golf course. 

“I’m pretty terrible so if I don’t get out and practice I get even worse,” Gresham said. “Even though the weathers bad, you got to get out and enjoy your life still, right?”

Meanwhile, McNerny says clearing the tree away will be tricky. 

“My husband said he could start trimming some branches up there but then it would fall right on to her car because both of our houses are kind of holding it up,” McNerny said. 

But she says her daughter has a plan to replace the tree that fell. 

“She’s got a little seedling. She’s going to grow a new pine tree,” McNerny laughed. 

‘It sounded like a train coming in or a major earthquake’

In Solano County, Vacaville residents are still cleaning up the aftermath of Tuesday night’s powerful storm.

Only during the calm after the storm Wednesday was when Mary Rose Parsons told FOX40 she could gather her thoughts and take a look at what Mother Nature did. 

“This is what happened! It sounded like a train coming in or like a major earthquake,” she recalled. 

A tree that’s been at a home on Owl Circle since the 80’s proved to be no match for the 60 mph wind gusts that whipped through Vacaville and came crashing down through Parson’s living room ceiling.

“Because it rumbled the house, like it shook it really well and it’s kind of scary right now because it’s settling a bit,” Parsons described. “Where the branches are coming out of, I see the cracks are starting to get longer so that’s pretty scary.” 

Parson wasn’t they only one to have a home battered and bruised from high winds. A homeowner off of Arcadia and Woodstock had her fence completely knocked down and her pool filled with debris and patio furniture. 

“We’ve had crews working since last night at around 2 a.m. in the morning,” Valley Falls Tree Care Company co-owner Karla Huerta told FOX40. 

Huerta said since the city of Vacaville dispatched their tree services along with other companies’ services, the phone has been ringing nonstop, a situation they were not expecting.

“Fairfield kept sending us notifications about the weather looking bad, but we did not have no idea that it was going to get this bad,” Huerta said.

And with tons of storm damage, pictures and video flooding social media, Huerta said her crew will be busy but are passing along safety advice to homeowners.

“Do not, do not touch anything at all,” Huerta warned. “Trees may not look heavy as they are, but they really are heavy.” 

‘It caught us off guard’

Extreme winds across Stockton downed trees, toppled fences and ripped apart restaurant tents Tuesday night. 

“Basically he just said it was a hurricane that ripped through here and the tents were propped up to the door, crashing almost through the windows saying ‘Be prepared for the worst,’” said Andy Pappas, owner of Papapavlo’s Bistro & Bar in Stockton. 

Wind gusts reaching nearly 60 miles per hour sent a large canopy tent outside the Lincoln Center restaurant thrashing in the wind. 

“All the tents that we had, I don’t know if any of them are salvageable. That could be $5,000, $6,000 or more. So, it’s pretty significant for us,” Pappas said. 

The damage comes just days after outdoor dining was reinstated across the state.  

“It’s just like, you know, what more can be thrown at us. It’s pretty defeating,” said Jennifer Pappas. 

FOX40’s weather team says the intense winds hammered the city Tuesday night for six to eight hours, costing businesses and homeowners hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in wind damage.  

“At first it was just, just this one, it came by itself, and then we had like another big bang and that’s when the other one fell,” said Marcello Alvarado. 

Alvarado says he was eating dinner with his family when they heard their backyard fence collapse.  

“Our lights, they started flickering so the power, I don’t know if it was going to go out or not,” Alvarado explained. “And then that’s when we heard the bang and it was kind of like a spooky situation, you know.” 

The extreme wind gusts uprooted large trees and sent one crashing down on top of a family’s car.  

The wind gusts knocked the power out to some neighborhoods turning stoplights into stop signs.  

Residents of Stockton say the sudden change in the weather took them by surprise.  “I don’t know it caught us off guard like I wasn’t expecting it,” Alvarado told FOX40. 

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