‘BOMB CYCLONE’ CUTS POWER TO THOUSANDS
Humboldt County experienced a weather wallop Tuesday as the storm promoted by a San Francisco Bay Area-based National Weather Service as a “bomb cyclone” wreaked havoc.
Power lines were down and thousands were without power Tuesday afternoon everywhere from Garberville to the Orleans. The largest numbers of people affected by outages were in Arcata (4,300); Eureka (2,082), Trinidad (1,580) and Hoopa (1,422), according to Pacific Gas and Electric Co. spokesperson Megan McFarland around 4 p.m. on Tuesday. All of Orick appeared to be out as well as large portions of Willow Creek and, earlier in the day, more than 1,000 were affected in Fortuna.
She said all of the outages were related to the storm.
“Sometimes we see downed lines, broken poles,” McFarland said. “As soon as it’s safe for our crews to make the repairs, we will.”
And the storm will continue pounding the area, the Eureka office of the National Weather
Service said Tuesday afternoon.
“We expect the winds to ramp up again (Tuesday) evening around Humboldt Bay,” said meteorologist Jeff Tonkin.
The main impacts will be from wind and hail, which could be problematic for motorists leaving the area for the holidays.
“(There is a) chance of some hail around Humboldt Bay and along (U.S. Highway) 101,” said Tonkin. “That would be somewhat critical in terms of safety.”
He added that snow levels could drop to 1,500 feet overnight and some areas of the county were getting multiple inches of snow.
The storm is expected to have run its course locally by mid-morning today.
This reporter saw downed lines at the Indianola Market, where a tree toppled onto the lines. Scanner traffic indicated a tree in outer Eureka struck a home on Williams Street that possibly needed to be evacuated.
On Broadway in Eureka, a tree came down on car driving northbound, disabling and damaging the vehicle but not the driver who was spotted just after 12:30 p.m. shouting expletives as he handled the situation.
“It was a rental car the person was driving,” said Brittany Powell, a spokesperson for the Eureka Police Department on Tuesday afternoon. “Our captain helped transport the driver to the rental company. We requested Caltrans to respond.”
The incident happened just below the Broadway Motel. A man who identified as a manager of the motel would not confirm whether the tree was on the hotel’s property and repeatedly asked the Times-Standard to “call back next week.”
Caltrans, which manages Broadway because it is part of Highway 101, said the tree was not Caltrans property.
“It’s pretty early on,” said Caltrans spokesman Myles Cochrane. “It looks like the tree was not on our property and we also heard it was a noninjury collision.”
A man shouts in frustration while dealing with a car struck by falling branches of a tree on Broadway on Tuesday afternoon. He appeared to be uninjured from the incident.
A tree struck powerlines at the Indianola Market on Myrtle Avenue on Tuesday afternoon. Across the county, there were multiple reports of downed lines as a result of the storm.