Winds knock down tree in Santa Cruz mountains, forcing road closure

Bay Area

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY (KRON) — High winds are blamed for a downed tree in the Santa Cruz Mountains that took out power lines and forced a road closure.  

It happened just off Highway 17.

A heavy equipment operator, Daniel Ciero, struggled to get to work Monday morning when the tree came down on Laurel Road. 

“I can’t get to work, my landlord cant get to work, my wife can’t get to work,” he said. 

The tree came down on some power lines, knocking out the electricity.  

Even more troubling, there is no other way out of the canyon, according to long time resident Jeanette McDonald.

“One way in and one way out,” McDonald said. “After there’s terrible rains two years ago Schultes and Redwood Lodge Roads collapsed, so it’s a little concerning when it comes to fire.”

No one was hurt as the fir tree, about 50-60 feet tall, took out a fence along the road narrowly missing a nearby home.  

Laurel Road was closed about a quarter mile off Highway 17, which meant there would also be no easy access for first responders should they be needed.

 “If there’s an emergency, no vehicle can get down this road, like I said, there are probably 30-40 houses beyond this so emergency access has been completely cut off,” Ciero said.

When KRON4’s Rob Fladeboe first arrived, a PG&E lineman was on scene making sure those downed lines were dead.  

Not long after, another crew arrived to begin clearing the tree so at a minimum, the road might be reopened.   

But one resident was told the power might not be back on until 2 or 3 p.m. Monday.           

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