Major storm leaves damage in wake

Howling wind and rain knocked out power, downed trees, smashed cars and forced street closures.

Just as a burst of howling wind rattled the windows at Erin and Brad Satterwhite’s home on Fourth Avenue, they lost power. Then a thunderous boom happened. They grabbed their 3-year-old son, Elliott, and took him to the back bedroom before checking out what had happened. It was about 10 p.m. Jan. 26.

The Satterwhites had just finished a major remodel of their home. They had added space in front by pushing out the wall to enlarge their dining room, and they had added a master bedroom.

In checking out the source of the storm-caused boom, they discovered a huge branch from the elm tree at the curb had broken off and landed just in front of their remodeled room. It dented their rain gutter, scraped the siding and ripped one of the screens.

Lucky again. This was the third time since they moved in that a major elm branch had fallen within inches of their home.

The Satterwhites moved to Curtis Park in 2011 from East Sacramento. They bought the home, their first, just before getting married. Erin works for CalPERS, and Brad works for the city.

Despite the strong wind and heavy rain, all was comfy Tuesday night until, about 9:45 p.m., the power went out Howling wind and rain knocked out power, downed trees, smashed cars and forced street closures. along Third and Fourth avenues from 21st to 24th streets. A quick check of the SMUD website indicated widespread outages throughout the city. An optimistic forecast predicted early a.m. restoration of power locally. While that was true south of Fourth Avenue, others awoke to cold, dark houses.

As residents wandered out, they soon found the cause. A tall evergreen tree had fallen across 21st Street at Diagon Alley, crushing a parked car, taking out the power pole and blocking the street. SMUD crews got busy removing and replacing the damaged pole. The power was back on at 6:55 p.m.

By Mike and Judy Green Scheible

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