San Diego does not have to deal with very many storms. San Diego has such consistent weather that many of us take it for granted. The beautiful weather almost year around is one of the things that make us all love San Diego so much. This was not the case on the 30th of January as a rare rain speckled the San Diego landscape. Many of us in San Diego, including myself, enjoy a nice rain from time to time. Some San Diego residents look forward to a nice rain like the Northwest looks forward to sunshine.
The light & pleasant rain quickly gave way to much more volatile weather as the morning of January 31 2016 arrived. The wind began to blow vigorously with wind speeds that topped over 50 miles per hour. San Diego even managed to see hail in the early morning hours of February 1 2016. Anytime there has been rain and strong winds that follow closely thereafter, trees are much more at risk of falling. The rain softens the soil which allows the root systems of trees to move with much more ease. San Diego has naturally sandy soil as well which does not help trees stay well rooted. There are not a lot of large species of trees in San Diego that fall from the roots up. This is something that is more common with trees such as pines. This is due to the fact that they have a shallow root system and a large surface area. San Diego does not have very many pine trees, so falling trees are not something we really worry about often in San Diego.
It is extremely rare to see a large tree such as an oak tree fall in its entirety without signs of disease or decline prior to falling. However this is exactly what happened in Pacific Beach San Diego California in the evening hours of February 31 2016. An entire oak tree fell onto 3 cars which were unoccupied. The tree also fell on a car that was being driven by a 48 year old woman who unfortunately passed from this tragic accident. Please keep the friends & family members of the deceased in your thoughts. Our hearts and many other San Diego residents hearts go out to the family and friends of the deceased.
Evaluating tree health is crucial to public safety. We need to make sure we are inspecting tree health on a regular basis and taking into consideration whether or not certain trees are able to withstand the type of weather San Diego has endured over the last several days. I think we all hope that Pacific Beach, San Diego and surrounding cities will continue to carefully evaluate tree health on a regular basis to ensure our safety.