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Claremont Hit Hard By High Winds, With Nearly 20% Of Residents Losing Power Friday Night

CLAREMONT (CBSLA) - Strong winds that hit the Southland Friday and continued into Saturday have impacted the lives of residents across the area, with downed power lines, fallen trees, cars damaged and blocked roadways.

Claremont 2
Jan. 22, 2022 (CBSLA)

In the Pomona Valley, the city of Claremont was hit especially hard.

"Everywhere. I mean, we have a huge pine one down the street here and a palm tree over here," Claremont resident Christina Avalos said.

We had gusts like 80 miles per hour," Richard Mortensen, another resident, said.

Neighborhood after neighborhood and street after street, the powerful winds left Claremont littered with trees on homes, businesses and cars. Some direct hits and many, many near missing, causing just enough damage to hurt.

"Total shock, just complete and total shock," Claremont Mayor Jed Leano  said. "We have hundreds of trees down that have either struck power lines, homes, cars or have completely blocked roads."

Nearly 20% of Claremont residents lost power Friday night as the high winds wreaked havoc across Southern California. City crews have been working nonstop to clear what they can, as neighbors swap stories of never before seen gusts.

"No, in fact I've been living in Claremont for probably over 30 years and we've never experienced winds like this," Avalos said.

Mortensen agreed with her.

"No. We never get win around here. From our living room, we could see the next door neighbors. They had a tree in the backyard hitting the high line wires. It looked like fireworks," he said.

Remarkably, even with how many trees are down and how widespread the damage is, the city has not reported any major injuries or deaths, but with some residents coming up on 24 hours without power, the mayor knows there could be people in need.

"If you know any vulnerable residents in the city, please call dispatch. Please call. We have resources at our disposal to make sure everybody has access to water, food, and light sources if they need it," he said.

The mayor is hopeful that electricity will be restored for everyone soon, though if not, he said the city will look at trying to see if they can open up a city building to tomorrow to provide a place for people to charge their phones and laptops.

The city council is set to vote Tuesday on an emergency declaration, which will open them up for additional resources and funding to clean things up.

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