(Above left) City workers cut up a tree that fell at 7th and Virginia Terrace. The large tree fell across Virginia Terrace about 9:00 p.m. Friday evening. (Right) Another tree, directly across the street, also fell during the rain and wind storm that occurred overnight Friday. Photos by Don Johnson

Rain causes minor damage around Santa Paula

January 09, 2008
Santa Paula weathers the storms in spite of soaking, gusty winds
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesSanta Paula weathered the weekend storms that brought more than 5.25 inches of rain that flooded streets and toppled trees, and winds that blew smiling Jack in the Box right out of his fast food restaurant sign on Harvard Boulevard. The bulk of the rain, about 4.5 inches according to SPWeather.net, fell on the city Friday evening into Saturday morning at a rate that at times hit almost two inches an hour.Winds accompanied the Friday night portion of the storm, felling two large trees on each corner of Virginia Terrace and 7th Street, and tearing the towering Jack in the Box signage at the corner of Palm Avenue and Harvard Boulevard out of its frame and into the street, where it crashed and broke into pieces. Both incidents occurred at approximately 9 p.m., when wind gusts reached more than 40 mph.But the storms left the city relatively unscathed. “We did more sandbags than anything else,” said Santa Paula Fire Chief Rick Araiza.Sandbags and sand were available at Fire Station 1 on South 10th Street, where those needing the water buffers were asked to show ID to prove residency. “We went through three loads of sand,” used to fill approximately 1,000 sandbags. “We were prepared for it,” noted Araiza.And that included Santa Paula Creek: “The Army Corps of Engineers cleaned up Santa Paula Creek late Friday, moving dirt and making a channel” to control water flow from the mountain areas, which received 9 inches to 10 inches of rain throughout the series of storms. Araiza said Monday morning that he had already checked Santa Paula Creek, and water flows were steady.
“We came out really well” when it came to storm damage. “We had nothing of real significance,” he noted.Santa Clara River also flowed normally, due to two channels created to control the water, although there were reports of flooding at the Santa Paula Airport when a nearby storm drain clogged, sending water into several hangars before the drain was cleared by SPFD personnel.Two people were killed in storm related incidents throughout California, but the Ventura County California Highway Patrol office reported no more traffic accidents than usual, probably because most people stayed at home and during the fiercest portions of the weather event. In nearby Santa Clarita two people were killed in traffic accidents related to storm conditions, and throughout California there were incidents of flooding and power outages.Good storm news was that burn areas prone to sliding mostly held firm, although officials fear that more rain could still trigger mudslides.

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