Valley Town Hit Hard By Wind

January 2, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Governor Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency for Glenn, Kings and Sacramento counties Saturday because of the extreme winds and heavy rains.The state of emergency announcement means conditions of extreme danger still exist, even after the storms have mostly passed.

Residents in Avenal say wind not rain caused the most of the damage in their town.

With a quick look at Alex Nelson's garage port it's easy to see the severity of this weekend's storm damage in the small town of Avenal.

"Big noise, big creek. I 'm a carpenter so I know if something's coming down. And I knew it was coming," says Nelson.

Heavy wind gusts unhinged this garage port crushing the RV underneath. "It was loud, it was scary and I don't scare easy," he says.

A few clouds in the sky serve as a reminder of Friday night's terror but the skies are mostly blue. Now it's time for clean up.

Residents are helping one another patch holes on roofs. Shingles can be found in every corner of town. A collection of shingles blew off of the Avenal high school auditorium.

Sid Craighead, Avenal city council, says "The major damage is the roof of the auditorium."

Council member Craighead has been visiting with residents to see just how bad the damage really is.

"Basically it was the wind that did a lot of the damage. If we had a lot more rain it would have been a lot more damage after the roofs came off it would have been a lot of water leakage," says Craighead.

Craighead doesn't know the financial extent of the damage yet but says any financial help from the state is welcome.

We might need it later on. When we finally get some figures down we might need some help," he says.

Under the state of emergency equipment and facilities needed to house victims of this storm will be available.

Officials in the town of Avenal say county and city crews responded quickly to the damage but any extra help to clean up their mess is appreciated.


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