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Palm Springs Declares State of Emergency after Wind Storm

Angela Monroe

Palm Springs Declares State of Emergency after Wind Storm

CREATED Jan. 23, 2012

PALM SPRINGS - Clean-up efforts will continue across the Coachella Valley, but particularly in Palm Springs where the winds hit the hardest.

A sign advertises free fire wood--the chopped up trees are the aftermath of Saturday's massive wind storm.
Palm Springs declared a state of emergency.
"Definitely something new to the desert, we haven't had a storm like this in a while so its definitely been a surprise," said Shawn Schoenhoff, a Palm Springs resident.
The fierce winds caused accidents, downed trees and power lines which started fires.
Police say three people were hurt in a car crash caused by wind.
"Every year we get the winds, but I've never seen anything like that happen on Saturday, I've never seen that amount of calls for service come in to our station as a result of the winds it was unprecedented," said Palm Springs Police Sergeant Mike Kovaleff.
Police called in all their reserve officers to help handle the damage and road closures.
Gene Autry Trail remains closed until at least Wednesday.
"15 wooden power poles snapped during the winds along Gene Autry Trail, so Southern California Edison personnel are working around the clock to replace those with metal standards," said Sgt. Kovaleff.
With Gene Autry Trail closed, Indian Canyon Drive is getting a lot of overflow traffic.  It was backed up for miles Monday night.
All across town, trees sprawl across the ground, trees, and carports.
Ruby Zbner has lived in Palm Springs for 63 years, and is blown away by this wind storm.
"I've seen it pretty bad, but not quite this bad.  We're just now going around looking at what's happened out here, because really I haven't seen it like this," said Abner.
Another high wind warning was a scary thought for many Palm Springs residents, but they got a breather Monday night.
"It is a surprise to see how bad we got hit with the wind," said Schoenhoff.
No estimate yet on just how much damage the storm caused across Palm Springs.  The Office of Emergency Services is working on getting those numbers.