Downed trees, mudslides from El Nino plague East Bay residents

Byby Willie Monroe via KGO logo
Sunday, February 8, 1998
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Mud continues to flow from the hills behind Canyon Heights in Fremont, prompting neighbors nearby to evacuate.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Mud continues to flow from the hills behind Canyon Heights in Fremont.

"City engineers and the soil expert are just keeping the area monitored and taking a close look at it," said Dennis Satariano with the Fremont Fire Department.

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Joe and Dorothy Pastrone's house was hit first. They'd been evacuated. Neighbors like Bill Mayer came to the rescue.

"Oh the neighborhood is really good," Mayer said. "Yeah, we were out late last night. We had a drain over on the side that was clogged up. And we cleared that out. That was late. Rotor rooter came out and helped us with that one."

Volatile Dry Creek in Union City continues to pose a threat. It's already damaged the El Arroyo Mobile Home Park.

Trains along the Southern Pacific tracks through East Oakland were stopped by a toppled eucalyptus.

Angelique Curry saw that, and it just made her more nervous about the tree towering over her house.

"Very scary," she said. "We're thinking now we stay here tonight or go home to my mom or somewhere, you know?"

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Another tree on 77th Avenue threatens two houses that have already been evacuated.

Ronald Williams is frustrated that all city officials are prepared to do is give him a permit to cut it down.

"It usually takes a week, but I'll give you permission right now to do it," he said. "What am I going to do it with, a knife a sharp knife and go up there and start cutting the tree down, you know?"

Meanwhile, PG&E crews struggle to keep up with power outages. Ten thousand customers lost power during a planned outage in Fremont while crews repaired a downed transmission line.

"It's unusual. Our lines are very reliable and it's very rare that we have transmission wires that come down that feed the substation where we have to take it out in this manner," said James McDaniel with PG&E.

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