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Severe Weather Event Causes Downed Trees and Lines 

Downed tree damages roof of Redwood Community Pharmacy in the McKinleyville Shopping Center.

January 4 , 2023

Today’s windstorm is keeping firefighters busy as back-to-back calls for service pour into the fire stations throughout the day. The hazardous weather downed power lines and trees all over AFD’s jurisdiction. 

Beyond those, AFD responded to several trees that had fallen through homes and trapped residents inside with multiple injuries in both Arcata and McKinleyville in addition to medical aids and other incidents requiring a response.  AFD was assisted by CalFire, Fieldbrook Volunteer Fire Department and Westhaven Volunteer Fire Department in these responses.  

AFD would like to take this opportunity to thank the public for your communication regarding the numerous downed power lines and trees, subsequent electrical fires and other hazards witnessed during this storm. Alerting 9-1-1 and triggering emergency response personnel to these risks saves lives.  

As a reminder, if you come across a downed power line, do not touch it or attempt to cross the area. Always assume a downed power line is live, and call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. Safely move away from the line by shuffling your steps and keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times.  

If your vehicle comes into contact with a downed power line while you are inside, stay in the car. Do not touch the frame or other metal and use your horn or phone to summon help. If you must evacuate due to fire or other imminent threat, jump from the vehicle, ensuring you land with both feet at the same time, then shuffle away. Call 9-1-1 for guidance.  

Avoid traveling if possible, as road conditions will remain hazardous until the storm has passed.  

Stay off of local beaches as there will be a large post-storm swell. 

As the week continues, we anticipate continued inclement weather including wind and rain. Take precautions to secure yourselves and your belonging and drive especially cautiously. Thank you for helping keep yourself and your community safe.

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