Few of us will ever forget the hurricane-force winds of Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2011. Overnight, a monster of a storm blew over thousands of trees, downed power lines, damaged properties and left 10 percent of Pasadena in the dark.
Pasadena police officers and firefighters quickly secured city streets, kept us safely away from dangerous power lines and responded to nearly 5,000 emergency calls. More than 6,000 Pasadena households waited patiently and offered neighbor-to-neighbor help as Pasadena Water and Power crews worked to restore power. A shelter was established by the Human Services and Recreation Department at Robinson Park Center for residents who couldn’t stay in their own homes and had nowhere else to go.
In the first few days many streets were completely impassable. Public Works Department crews systematically cleaned up 180 million pounds of tree debris – a monumental effort considering that every inch of Pasadena’s 325 miles of streets was affected.
With all hands on deck working 12-hour shifts with mutual aid assistance from other government agencies, PWP teamed up with the Public Works Department to replace damaged power poles and transformers and remove downed trees and branches from high-voltage lines. Our technicians canvassed 325 miles of city streets to pinpoint properties that needed wires restrung from nearby power poles, and 99 percent of all affected customers had power restored within the week.
Meanwhile, with clippers, rakes and brooms in hand, neighbors worked together to help clean neighbor’s lawns, streets and storm drains. The city designated Eaton Blanche Park and Robinson Park as green-waste drop-off sites, where the greenery was converted to garden mulch, free for the taking.
Learn more and share your experiences at www.cityofpasadena.net/windstorm_2011.