BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — UPDATE: PG&E told 23ABC that this incident caused outages that affected 2,470 customers. As of 9:00 p.m. Sunday, they say around 1,000 are still without power.
High wind gusts were felt all across the county on Sunday. In Bakersfield, a neighborhood on Palm Ave. saw the impact of the wind first-hand. PG&E was called after a redwood fell into power lines, interrupting service to the area.
“Access is a big challenge in this industry. Usually storms here in Bakersfield—wind storms like this—we do get a lot of calls,” said Omar Moran, owner of Western Tree Care Corporation.
Omar Moran says his crew got around six calls reporting fallen trees on Sunday, but this particular one on Palm Avenue took priority. The urgency was mainly due to the redwood tree that was suspended in the power line, however, other trees in the yard were at risk of falling due to the gusty winds.
On Sunday afternoon, the tree stayed suspended in the line for hours until the crew was able to safely cut it down around 4:30 p.m. It caused power to be interrupted in that area, and according to PG&E, around 15,000 total customers were affected by power outages in Kern County, including around 10,000 in metropolitan Bakersfield Sunday evening. According to PG&E's website, outages can be reported online, or by calling 1-800-743-5002.
The owner of the property, Suzanne Dunlap, is the one who originally reported the tree to 23ABC. When 23ABC arrived on scene, she told us she's lived in the house since 1996. When they first moved in, Dunlap says there were eight redwood trees planted, and the three that either fell or were removed on Sunday were the final three remaining.
In weather events like this, Moran says his team is ready to go.
"We’re ready at all times. We have a standby crew for emergencies like this."
Moran says that once the storm ends, his crew will be out around town for the next three to four days cleaning up the mess.
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