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Storm Damage Calls Keep City Crews Busy By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday January 03, 2006

Storm-related calls have kept Berkeley firefighters hopping over the past week, said Assistant Fire Chief Lucky Thomas. 

The most dramatic call came last Wednesday, bringing crews to 439 Arlington Ave., where a massive backyard tree had blown down on top of the house, with part of the limbs coming to rest on the neighboring home at 451 Arlington. 

“We evacuated the residents from 439 and turned off the gas,” said Thomas. “We determined there was no danger to the residents of 451.” 

As of late Monday afternoon, the department had responded to 130 calls over the three-day weekend, with the largest number of calls—64—coming on Saturday, Thomas said. 

It was Saturday when the firefighters from the Lawrence Berkeley Lab arrived at 1439 Grizzly Peak Blvd. in response to a call of a mudslide on private property. 

A crew from the city’s Public Works Department determined there was no imminent danger to life or property and reached the same conclusion again Monday after a report of more movement. 

Also on Saturday, firefighters and Public Works responded to a call at 1337 La Loma Ave. 

Erosion from the storms had opened a sinkhole in front of the residence which closed the sidewalk and caused part of the home’s foundation to collapse, Thomas said. 

Mudslides also closed Grizzly Peak Boulevard between Centennial and Fish Ranch roads. 

One neighborhood Internet report listed 20 mudslides on Tunnel Road across the Oakland border, including one that buried the roadway under 12 feet of the sticky stuff.