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    Winds Rock Top of the Town, Large Tree Branch Crashes Onto Parked Car 59th/California

    (April 25, 2004) -- Fierce afternoon winds buffeted the Top of the Town on April 24, sending a hefty tree branch crashing onto a parked car at 59th St. and California Ave. with such force that some residents thought it was an earthquake. grassroots reporter Christopher Hicks says "the winds were howling about 4:30 Saturday afternoon." Mr. Hicks grabbed his digital camera and emailed photos on this page with his report:

    NLB tree 4/24/04
    Photo: Christopher Hicks

    NLB tree 4/24/04
    Photo: Christopher Hicks
    Mr. Hicks says one resident in the area told him, "I thought the earthquake that everyone was talking about had arrived. I heard a loud crack and then the whole house shook. I thought it was the big one!"

    It wasn't seismic...but gravitational.

    There were no apparent injuries and the children in the neighborhood have not had this much excitement in quite awhile, Mr. Hicks reports.

    NLB Tree 4/24/04
    Photo: Christopher Hicks

    Doppler Radar 4/24/04After receiving Mr. Hicks' report, we checked the National Weather Service Doppler Radar (constantly posted on's front page)...and as of 10:16 p.m. on April 24 (nearly six hours after the winds) high levels of particulates were still flying in the L.A. air basin...with the highest concentrations at that hour over OC.

    [ note: Good job and thank you for the report, Mr. Hicks!]

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