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Major storm damage in Santa Cruz mountains leaves community reeling

Major storm damage in Santa Cruz mountains leaves community reeling
Major storm damage in Santa Cruz mountains leaves community reeling 03:15

BOULDER CREEK - While Tuesday's storm system caused damage across the Bay Area, few regions were hit as hard as the Santa Cruz mountains.

The system left widespread damage in the Santa Cruz mountains, literally dividing the town of Boulder Creek. And while thankfully no one was killed, the townsfolk still have some stories to tell.

"Yeah, all this came crashing down at about 1:30 PM yesterday," Keith Dallman explained. "We looked out front here and all the trees were waving."

Dallman says the road of the wind was followed by the snapping of trees, before an entire swath of forest came crashing down the hillside, and through the roof of his neighbor's home.

"So we had to go in through a back window, and she was trapped under tree limbs," Dallman said of the rescue. "They had to extricate her. She had a head injury and broken ribs. We had to bring her out on a ladder, tied to a ladder."

Pulled to safety by her neighbors, a family member tells us that the injured woman is recovering in the hospital, as this mountain community tries to recover from a brutal day of weather.

"I have to go and I have to get into town to get fuel," Dallman said of the challenge facing many powerless homeowners.

Going into town meant walking about a half a mile through a road closure where crews are still working to remove trees and restore utilities.

"It's about 10 minutes from the other side," said Matt, a resident returning with fuel. "It's not that long. It's just more waiting for them. They're working and then letting people go in waves."

Walking to town might have been the surest bet, because driving was still an adventure, navigating around downed trees and wires with some directions still impassable.

"Yeah it's been pretty hellish trying to get around you kind of have to do word of mouth," said Hannah, trying to get out of Boulder Creek.

"Well, if you can go anywhere," joked resident Linda Green.

Locals famously embrace weather hardships as part of living in this beautiful place, but along with all of the mess and damage, this storm has also left an impression.

"I've seen a lot of trees come down in the Santa Cruz mountains," Dallman said. "They've given me lots of overtime hours, working. No, never seen anything like this."

The return of power is still a question mark for a lot of people and travel is still very difficult. Anyone traveling in the area should leave some extra time, and should not be surprised if at some point they have to stop and turn around.

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