Wind Damage Estimated at Close to $1 Million in Palm Springs
CREATED Jan. 24, 2012
PALM SPRINGS - A local state of emergency is in effect in Palm Springs following Saturday's fierce windstorm.
The declaration will help the city pay for the damage - which could be upwards of one million dollars.
Hundreds of people lost power when winds gusting over 60 miles an hour blew through the city.
The wind uprooted trees, reduced visibility, and even ripped roofs off of homes.
Gene Autry Trail remained closed at the wash on Tuesday evening as 15 power poles were toppled.
The road could reopen sometime Wednesday.
Everywhere you turn, toppled trees and piles of debris. A state of emergency declared after violent winds tore through Palm Springs.
"It wasn't long until the house was rattling and things were flying through the air and not safe to go out," said Palm Springs resident, Richard Bakken.
Palm Springs Police inundated with calls, 165 on Saturday alone.
"It was unprecidented," Palm Springs Police Sergeant Mike Kovaleff said. "I've never seen the amount of calls that came into police and fire on Saturday."
The city now calling all hands on deck to clean up the mess.
"Our first goal of course is everyones individual safety," City Manager David Ready said. "Then we go to clearing the streets and sidewalks and then the clean up."
Emergency evacuations ordered at the tram. Several hikers left at the ranger station because conditions were too dangerous to get down.
"It was just an extreme occurance," said Palm Springs Aerial Tramway spokesperson Lena zimmerschied. "We were having very high gusts of wind and so we wanted to get everyone off as safely and as quickly as possible."
The wind was so strong it ripped trees right out of the ground and it's going to take the city hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean it all up.
"We could be looking at three quarters of a million dollars," Ready said. "We had probably about 500 trees, over half were down, the others were damaged so it will be a significant clean up effort."
The city bearing the brunt of the cost, dipping into reserve funds for a clean up that could take weeks.