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Too Close for Comfort

Wind-Toppled Tree Narrowly Misses Garden Grove Home

April 05, 1999|JASON KANDEL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The temperature was dropping. The wind started kicking in. Concerned, Yvonne Park called her 11-year-old son to come inside. Moments later, they heard a loud crash.

Wind gusts up to 45 mph uprooted a 70-foot Monterey pine in her frontyard and toppled it onto her recreational vehicle parked in the driveway. The top of the tree nicked the eaves of her home on Dorothy Avenue in Garden Grove.

"My son was in his room and I heard a horrendous crash, and I called him [to make sure he was safe] and he ran down to the living room. . . . I looked outside. All I could see was the tree. It was like the whole house was in the tree," Park said Sunday.

Park, 47, can't help but think a guardian angel was looking out for her and her son when the tree fell about 6 p.m. Saturday. She considers them lucky to be alive.

The RV took the brunt of the tree's fall. But limbs broke off part of a metal rain gutter near the front of Park's house.

Pine needles still sticking through a screen door Sunday were enough for her to sigh and say: "Now you tell me somebody wasn't watching out for me and my son?"

The winds saddled residents and public works crews with early Sunday cleanup work, as broken limbs and fallen palm fronds lined streets across Orange County.

The heavy winds were part of a storm that formed in the Gulf of Alaska, hit Central California and swept down the coast to San Diego, said Scott Breit, a meteorologist for WeatherData, which provides weather information for The Times.

Temperatures are expected to warm up today, with highs in the mid-60s and moderate breezes along the coast. Clouds will begin to form late in the afternoon with a chance of rain after midnight. There's a chance of rain late Tuesday and early Wednesday, Breit said.

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