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Santa Barbara - South County

Clean up continues after Hurricane force winds take out massive trees

Famous Santa Barbara tree down
A famous Chase Palm Park tree by the stage came down along with many others on the South Coast during 81 mile-an-hour winds last week. (Photo: John Palminteri)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The sound of chain saws will be heard for a few days in Santa Barbara and Montecito after the hurricane force winds ravaged some areas Thursday night.

Some clean up was done Friday by private citizens, but much more is still to come, especially on city owned property.

Many residents were especially saddened to see some well known trees broken at the base and on their sides.

One is the massive Eucalyptus tree at the Chase Palm Park stage where the "Concerts in the Park" takes place every summer.

It was ripped at the roots and fell on to the lawn when, fortunately, no one was nearby. Cutting it up will be a lengthy process.

A similar tree came down on the back of the lawn area and hit a city building.

Across the street, a large tree is down in front the East Beach volleyball courts and the Clark estate. It is by a walking trail to the ocean.

Thursday night's winds were clocked as high as 81 miles per hour in the Montecito and Santa Barbara area. That puts them at the hurricane Category 1 level.

In the first few gusts, power was going out and large utility lines were breaking.

East Valley Road in Montecito (SR 192) was closed due to a cracked tree and power line issues.

Damage was reported in several areas including Salinas St. where a tree hit a home, Garden Street where a car was crushed, Butterfly Lane where a branch smashed a U-Haul truck and a row of tall trees came down closing a part of Mission Ridge Rd. at Las Alturas.

A large rotted tree branch also came down in San Roque, blocking Calle Granada.

One power line issue set a palm tree on fire by a beach area hotel but the structure was spared.

Debris was strewn throughout the freeway and surface streets.

At one point a Northbound ramp at Milpas St. was blocked in two exit lanes by debris.

Police, Sheriff, CHP and fire units received multiple calls for service.

The wind event was considered the most damaging in the area since the September 2017 microburst that ripped off roofs, broke light towers, plucked trees out of the ground and threw them into buildings and vehicles.

Environment / Outdoors / Weather News
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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3 and NewsChannel 12. To learn more about John, click here.

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