Strong winds knock down trees in East Bay

Strong winds caused problems in the East Bay, after several trees were knocked down.

January 20, 2011 6:14:22 PM PST
Strong winds caused problems in the East Bay on Thursday morning, after several trees were knocked down.

The unusual wind storm had terrible timing. It hit just when people needed to rush out the door, and in time for the morning commute. The wind knocked down a 100-foot tree just east of Park Boulevard on Interstate 580 in Oakland. It blocked two lanes of traffic for an hour and a half, and crews cleared it out of the way a little after 8 a.m.

In Piedmont, a tree blocked homeowners' cars and kept them from getting out. When they heard the noise at 6 a.m., they didn't think it was a falling tree.

"I think earthquake. I didn't think it was something in my house and then I heard the glass broken," Piedmont resident Trinh Ngyen said.

Tree removal workers were swamped with calls and worked as quickly as they could to clean up Mother Nature's mess.

"The wind, I mean, you have extreme winds right now. It didn't come out of the ground, it broke at the bottom, it's the wind," Kent Donadhy from Diamond Tree Service said.

On Monterrey Boulevard in Oakland, a tree took power lines down with it and surprised homeowners who are actually used to trees coming down during storms.

"I've had some Acacia trees fall, but they always fall. Nothing like this," Oakland resident Olivia Gomez said.

On Detroit Street in Oakland, the causality was a 1976 El Camino. Neighbors kept pouring out to see what had caused the crash, but did not expect to see this.

"Our poor neighbor with the car. He loves those cars, it's really too bad," Oakland resident Heather Korzilius said.

Bruce Johnson, the car owner, was pretty calm about the ordeal.

"I'm really not overly concerned about the car, I am really not. Cars are replaceable, no one was hurt. There is an elderly woman across the street, she's OK and life will continue on," he said.