The Cambrian

Storm sends cypress crashing into cars parked at Cambria motel

A splintered Monterey cypress tree fell on the parking lot at the Bluebird Inn on Main Street, hitting four vehicles parked there.
A splintered Monterey cypress tree fell on the parking lot at the Bluebird Inn on Main Street, hitting four vehicles parked there. Special to The Cambrian

The season’s first winter-style storm on the North Coast dumped and drizzled up to a half-inch or so of rainfall Nov. 2, leaving behind a brief double rainbow and various North Coast residents exulting on social media about the oh-so-welcome rainfall.

As Nancy Zinke posted on Facebook at 8:03 a.m. Monday, “It’s raining in Cambria! A real old-fashioned rain, like from the ’80s and ’90s, with wind and big drops and everything!”

It wasn’t all good news, though. Stiff winds about that same time sent a large trunk of a Monterey cypress tree crashing onto four vehicles parked at a Cambria motel.

Fire officials said they got no other emergency calls related to the storm. However, there were some scattered electrical outages affecting 149 Cambria PG&E accounts, plus four in San Simeon and one in Cayucos, according to the utility.

By afternoon, affected guests at The Bluebird Inn, from as far away as Germany, were changing travel plans, filing insurance claims and being relocated.

According to Falguni “Fal” Patel, one couple due to fly to England at 5 p.m. were taken to the airport by friends. (Patel and husband Kiran Patel bought the historic inn from Ken and Gisela Cooper on Aug. 26.)

William Hollingsworth, captain and acting fire marshal with Cambria Fire Department, told the Patels the damaged tree had to be removed. “It was leaning to the left,” she said Tuesday. “I’m so sad to have to let it go, but public safety comes first.”

On Monday, crews removed the branches and assessed damage to the structure. On Tuesday, Tim Radecki of North Coast Tree Service took down the tree, which Patel estimated at 80 to 100 years old.

Six units in the motel’s back building were to be off limits until the tree was removed and any necessary repairs made.

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