Reports of damage around Santa Paula continue. The winds have slowed, giving people a chance to recover and giving firefighters a chance to put out devastating brush fires around Southern California. Above left, the Post Office flag was ripped into shreds. Above right, retail stores along Mill Street had their awnings torn from their frames, and, bottom photo, the Santa Paula Plumbing building, located on Yale Street, lost its roof during the windstorm. Photos by Brian D. Wilson

Winds cause damage in Santa Paula

October 26, 2007
Wild wind tears roof from SP business, but citywide damage minor
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesThe wild winds brought mostly minor damage throughout Santa Paula, with numerous reports of downed tree limbs, but at least one structure suffered major damage according to city officials.The Santa Anas seemed to express most of their wrath on Sunday, when smoke and ash from the numerous wildfires blanketed Santa Paula in a thick, dark cloud by mid-afternoon. The up to 60 mph gusty wind, ash and smoke - which prompted a health warning from Ventura County Environmental Health - led to the early shutdown of the Rotary Pumpkin Patch at Faulkner Farm Sunday.Pumpkin Patch Chairman Otto Schimmel noted, “People were still coming” in spite of the posted closed signs. The number of those attending the 2007 Ghost Walk, the Santa Paula Theater Center fundraiser also held at Faulkner Farm, dwindled considerably and then died out late Sunday evening.Building and Safety Director Steve Stuart said that the most notable damage from the Santa Ana winds was to the Santa Paula Plumbing building. During the wind gales of Sunday night the roof of the building, located behind the South Paseo in the South Alley area, “came off, then when it came off it ruptured a three-quarter inch water line,” which created flooding inside the building.That incident, said Stuart Tuesday, was the “most significant damage that we are aware of.” There were several reports of asphalt shingle roofs “coming off buildings... I’m not saying there aren’t more incidents out there,” but so far those incidents are the only ones that involved a response from Building and Safety personnel.
Tree limbs were major casualties of the wild winds, according to Public Works Director/City Engineer Cliff Finley, although a young flowering pear at Railroad Plaza Park broke off due to “what must have been a huge gust” of wind sometime Monday night into Tuesday morning. But damage was “pretty much just to trees losing limbs; we’re pretty fortunate.And we had some intermediate power outages” that caused Public Works to move emergency generators to city water well sites. “We wanted to be prepared, just in case, but we haven’t had to use them,” said Finley. “We’ve been pretty fortunate.”Tree limbs were a different matter: “Lots of limbs came down, a few trees, but mostly limbs. No huge trees have gone over, although we had some pretty big limbs come off.”Overall, “Fortunately there’s nothing exciting to report as far as the wind goes,” said Finley. “We’re lucky this time.”

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