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Tree falls, knocks out power for more than 800 homes

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A large stone pine tree crashed down across El Monte Avenue Thursday, snapping off powerlines and leaving more than 800 Los Altos households without power.

The fallen tree, reported at 2:34 p.m. May 12, spanned El Monte near the Higgins Avenue intersection. PG&E, the Los Altos public works department, firefighters and police responded. No injuries were reported.

“Since it involved power lines, we had to wait for PG&E to give us the go-ahead to start work on clearing the road of the tree,” said Manny Hernandez, the city’s maintenance services director.  “PG&E did not finish their work until 7 p.m. Our six-person crew finished clearing the tree at 1 p.m.”

PG&E spokesperson Mayra Tostado said the tree caused “significant damage” to electrical equipment. She noted that power was restored to 735 of the 834 households approximately one hour after the incident. Power was restored to the remaining households by 12:57 a.m. Friday, according to Tostado.

“We are not sure of the age of the tree or any underlying conditions that it may have had, since it was a privately owned tree,” Hernandez said. “Our only observation was it was windy (Thursday) afternoon.”

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