Trees topple and power shuts off due to extreme wind


Carlos Rene Castro/The Collegian

Strong winds caused a tree to fall on a car on North Cedar Avenue near Fresno State on Tuesday, February 21, 2023.

By Jiselle Cardenas, News Editor

Strong winds plagued Fresno on Tuesday, Feb. 21, knocking down trees and causing power outages.

Angel Vargas, a mathematics major who lives near Shaw Avenue, behind Dog House Grill, said her power started glitching at around 5:30 p.m., completely shutting off around 9 p.m. 

Around 10 p.m.,Vargas left her home to pick up her sister. She experienced tiny debris hitting her vehicle that sounded like “people throwing rocks.”

“Bullard westbound was blocked off due to a massive tree branch falling onto the street. When driving home, I decided to go back home through Shaw, but all the lights were out from Fresno to Chestnut. The traffic lights were completely cut off too, so it made it even more difficult since not everyone stopped at the intersections or [pushed on their breaks] super hard because they didn’t know it was an intersection,” Vargas said to The Collegian. 

On Cedar Avenue, right in front of Bulldog Village, the wind toppled a tree, crushing a car at a stoplight. The driver was nearly injured, according to ABC30.

A tree blocks the road on North Cedar Avenue after a strong gust of wind blew it down on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. (Carlos Rene Castro/The Collegian)

“The lights were out, and so we stopped. While we were stopped, a tree fell on us and left a dent right where my head was,” said Brian, the passenger, in an interview with ABC30.

Areas surrounding Fresno State also suffered from power outages.

Some students still don’t have power after a tree knocked power lines down off First and Nees Avenues. 

Veronica Zarate, a psychology major, experienced connection issues while going over an exam review in her online class yesterday afternoon. 

“I had a class online, and so the connectivity was really unstable. I got logged out of my class early due to the wind around 5:20 p.m. We were reviewing for an exam, so I feel more nervous for that exam,” said Zarate to The Collegian. 

Vargas’s power remained off until 6:37 a.m. this morning. 

PG&E has been on call and preparing since last week for poor weather conditions by dispatching crews throughout Central California. One representative recommended things to do to prepare as more wind is expected in the coming days. 

“Make sure your car is full of gas in case you need to use it to charge electric devices or even just for the heat,” Denny Boyles with PG&E said to ABC30.