County, city officials respond to fallen trees

Rain pools in the grounds near the San Benito River bed at the Union Road bridge Thursday.

Flooding, high winds, fallen trees and longer than normal commutes may all be in the works as part of a storm that hit Hollister on Thursday.
Just this morning, the county department of public works responded to five trees felled by winds from the storm.
“It depends how much rain we get. I mean if we get two inches a day, they’ll be flooding on Fairview, Frazier Lake, Shore Road,” said Hank Brown, a road maintenance superintendent for the county. “And those are the main commuter roads out of the county.”
A tree that fell earlier this morning on Las Viboras Road pulled down power lines and closed the road. A fire truck was at the scene earlier this morning, but PG&E was taking longer to respond.
 “They’re really booked up,” Brown said. “Swamped.”
Brown is advising county residents to leave more time to travel to their destinations as wind and rain may cause commutes to be longer than normal. The response time for calls may be longer than normal too given the higher number of calls.
“We’ve got eight guys working here for the whole county so we don’t have a lot staff,” Brown said. “So we’ll get there when we can.”
The staff have pickup trucks ready to go with flood warning signs, chain saws and chains, Brown said.
In the city of Hollister, staff members responded to just one fallen tree call this morning but closed Park Hill last night to ensure that gusty winds didn’t send the site’s eucalyptus trees toppling over on any residents, said City Manager Bill Avera.
“Over the last month or so we’ve been trying to clean out the DI’s—drainage inlets—and such, so we should be pretty good,” he said.
Sandbags are available to Hollister residents who display their identification from 7 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the City Yard on 1321 South St. and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Hollister Fire Station No. 2 at 1000 Union Road.

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