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Winds Snap Power Poles, Destroy Piece of Santa Clara History

The strong winds brought on by the Bay Area’s latest storm caused a scary situation for some residents along Homestead Road. Wind gusts topped more than 45 mph just before 1 p.m. on March 14 according to the National Weather Service.

The strength of the wind was enough to snap at least six power poles. People along Homestead Road between Pepper Tree Lane and Lawrence Expressway had to shelter in place while Silicon Valley Power (SVP) worked to shut off the live power lines.

“SVP staff worked around the clock Tuesday to get the situation cleared up and had Homestead Road open by Wednesday morning,” said City spokesperson Michelle Templeton. “The City Public Works and Water & Sewer Departments worked alongside SVP crews to support the cleanup effort and the City Police Department was onsite to assist with traffic management and ensure the safety of the community and City crews. This collaborative effort across City departments allows us to minimize the impact on our community in events like this.”


As of 9 a.m. on March 15, the shelter in place was lifted. The City says it received no reports of any injuries. SVP crews will need to work through Friday to replace the poles and restore the downed lines.

The strong winds also destroyed the famed Mariani’s Restaurant sign on El Camino Real, breaking it in two. In Sunnyvale, near the intersection of Mathilda Avenue and El Camino Real, the wind toppled a tree, blocking two lanes on northbound Mathilda Avenue.

While the winds are causing problems here in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, things are much worse in Monterey County. Santa Clara Police Department has committed officers to assist the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) after a levee break in Pajaro.

“Our roles can vary depending on the needs of the MCSO,” said SCPD Lt. Cuong Phan. “On a previous shift, one of our officers was embedded with the National Guard doing search and rescue for homes submerged in the floods.

“We also assisted the MCSO by responding to calls for service. SCPD also provided scene security by limiting access to only emergency vehicles and emergency workers,” continued Phan. “By doing so, we minimize those with unauthorized access from getting hurt by the rising flood. Moreover, we offer relief to MCSO public safety personnel so they can get a well-deserved break off the line.”

Officers started helping this past Sunday. Phan says 45 officers will rotate through the area until next Sunday, assisting with round the clock coverage.

Meanwhile, with another storm expected to arrive next week, SVP crews will be ready.

“SVP proactively prepares for storm events on a regular basis,” said Templeton. “This includes assigning additional staff and equipment resources in advance of upcoming storms and having any necessary on-call contracts, such as tree clearing services, in place. Additionally, SVP conducts aggressive tree trimming year-round to prevent issues and has a response plan in place to address issues during storms. SVP is also prepared to dispatch Trouble Shooters 24-7 as needed and are always monitoring storm situations.”


  1. Winnie Sloan 1 year ago

    A big THANK YOU to the SVP, CPW, and W&SD employees who responded to the many problems from the storms. We take it for granted they will do their jobs, but they also have their own families and homes to attend to during harsh weather. Quickly responding to infrastructure issues and staying until the community is safe takes commitment and a strong work ethic. Thank you for what you do to help keep us safe!

  2. Bruce 1 year ago

    The publishing of wind and pole design values is in the Public interest. Should the poles resisted the typical intense storm?

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