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Crews respond to downed trees, utility lines during storm

tree into utility lines.JPG
Posted at 9:51 PM, Jan 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-05 02:46:21-05

It was all hands on deck for the Atascadero Fire Department as firefighters worked with Public Works crews to clear fallen tree limbs and respond to storm-related emergencies on Wednesday evening.

Powerful winds and heavy rain brought down tree limbs and electrical lines, leading to power outages.

"It seems like the biggest threats we’re gonna face are the trees coming down. We have saturated ground already," said Atascadero Fire Chief Casey Bryson.

A tree limb fell onto a utility line near the intersection of Gancho and Rosario Avenue. Firefighters blocked off the area to traffic amid concerns that the power lines could fall onto the roadway.

"It’s been a handful of years since we’ve had an incident like this," Chief Bryson said.

Earlier in the day, North County residents were stocking up on supplies at the Vons in Atascadero as the first rounds of wind and rain moved into the area.

"I’m really just concerned about the power and the flooding," said Atascadero resident Peter Oaks. "We’ve had some recent fires that I’m worried about erosion and definitely the Salinas River."

Ricki Andino lives near Templeton and says the power usually goes out during big storms.

"Right now, we’re going to town, getting stuff we need, and then we’re charging everything," Andino said. "For us, we’re probably gonna be the first to get hit with a power outage. We usually are."

PG&E representatives said the utility prepared for the storm by staging crews throughout the area to be ready to respond to potential outages.