Wednesday Jan 20 2010
Wind, rain wreak havoc in Rocklin
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
60 mph gusts blow down trees and throw gazebos over houses
Rocklin residents came home to uprooted trees and damage from the strong storm wind gusts this week. According to the National Weather Service, wind speed varied from 25 to 40 miles per hour in Placer County but local gusts reached 60 mph at a time. “The wind was strong when I was walking to class but I didn’t think anything of it,” said Sierra College student Robert Koerner. Koerner admits the periodic rain was more on his mind coming back to his Argonaut Avenue home until he arrived and saw the backyard gazebo upside down in the driveway laying against the family SUV. “The gazebo came over our house and took off the (whirly bird ventilation fan) and crashed down in our driveway,” Koerner said. The family put it up under a year ago, but now denting the SUV, it was most certainly headed for the scrap heap. Unfortunately, Koerner said, it wasn’t the first gazebo to be hit by a Sierra wind storm. “Our last one was a little more flimsy and got shredded by the wind. But it didn’t move anywhere,” Koerner said. “This one had fabric so it was a little more resistant and the wind just picked it up.” Koerner said it won’t be the last gazebo but next time they’ll use concrete. On the other side of Pacific Street, Rocklin resident Carl Olsen was walking his dog along Tuttle Drive and was struck by his neighbors’ misfortune. “When I walked down to the end of the corner and the wind was blowing real hard up that side street and hit that tree straight on,” Olsen said. At one time over 40 feet high, the two-decades-old tree was now uprooted like a potted plant resting between his neighbors houses. Olsen said if you looked at it another way maybe they weren’t unlucky after all. “They were lucky because it was between the two houses, it didn’t hurt anything,” Olsen said. Olsen said he hadn’t seen his neighbors yet to find out what they thought about their new weekend project but he’s pretty confident it could have been prevented. “It just turned brown this summer,” Olsen said. “The tree was dead and they never cut it down.” The property owner could not be reached for comment. Olsen said Rocklin residents should be watchful around the house of any potential impacts from wind gusts. “It wasn’t a bad storm it was just strong winds,” he said.