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City of Lompoc preps trees ahead of storm season

Posted at 5:43 PM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-27 23:24:57-05

As the rain starts to head our way, people on the Central Coast are getting ready.

We checked in with the City of Lompoc which has been working on rain preparations for weeks.

The Stone Pine trees on South H Street are tall and majestic but in times of heavy winds, the tree limbs can be destructive.

“Well, it’s kinda scary. It almost feels like an earthquake if the limb is big enough,” said Michael Shrede who lives off South H Street.

“A large tree limb fell in our front yard area and one fell across the street, crushing a truck,” said Pam Beecher, an employee at an H Street business.

While the city has cut the trees back in the last few months, homeowners and businesses say the pine needles can clog up their storm drains, making it harder for rainwater to filter through.

“We live close by so I periodically come by and check it to make sure we’re not having any huge disaster going on with water or anything,” Beecher said.

It’s recommended drivers also inspect their cars before hitting the road to ensure they’ll be safe in the hazardous conditions.

“I try to be prepared. I have to go to Santa Barbara tomorrow so I’m coming in tomorrow to get everything checked so that I can go and be safe during the rain,” said driver Patti Beach.

That’s good news for people like Don Pommerville, owner of Pommerville Automotive, who says he sees an increase in business when it rains.

“It’s very busy when it rains. You know rain affects a lot more things than just wiper blades. People have dirty battery cables or they haven’t tuned their car up in a long time so when it rains, all that electricity ionizes and it shows a lot of things that wouldn’t normally happen when it’s dry,” Pommerville explained.

A city spokesperson tells KSBY:

“The City of Lompoc Urban Forestry Division has spent the last several weeks trimming trees throughout the city ahead of the anticipated storms to lessen the risk of trees or branches falling. We have put special focus on trimming branches surrounding power lines to avoid hazards.

Throughout the year, the City of Lompoc Electric Division and Urban Forestry Divisions identify trees close to power lines and trim them. Last year, the city had no storm-related power outages.

Our city’s electric division is ensuring its equipment is working properly and vehicles are ready to go should any issues arise during the storms. The urban forestry division has staff on standby ready to respond to any problems.

Members of the public who encounter any fallen trees are asked to call the City of Lompoc Urban Forestry Division weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at (805) 875-8034. After hours and on weekends, fallen trees call be reported to the Lompoc police non-emergency line at 736-2341.

Storm issues causing serious injuries should be reported by calling 9-1-1.”