SAN DIEGO — City leaders decided to reopen Balboa Park Friday and other open spaces after dozens of trees toppled from Thursday's powerful Santa Ana winds.
"We are asking residents to exercise caution. Be careful, not just at Balboa park, but any other park with falling branches or limbs. Our crews will be actively working throughout the next few days, if not weeks," said Jose Ysea, spokesperson for the city of San Diego.
He warned that children should not try climbing any of the parks' trees as a precaution.
"It blows my mind that something big can just topple over from some wind," said Deidre Lance.
She was at Balboa Park Friday morning to exercise with her daughter.
"I'm glad I wasn't here yesterday," she said. "We come here a lot."
Several people took pictures of the massive downed trees.
"I was hoping to come here to get a picture of some fallen trees," Andrew Harrison said.
Balboa Park Golf Course, Presidio Park, and Chollas Lake were all publicly closed on Thursday.
City crews were working to remove fallen tree limbs and branches blocking streets and walkways, according to the city.
Crews continued to remove several massive Eucalyptus trees that fell, some as tall as 80 feet. The city tells CBS 8 that more than 35 trees fell yesterday from powerful wind gusts.
High winds toppled dozens of trees in and around Balboa Park, causing the city to close the central San Diego park to the public Thursday.
Balboa Park Golf Course, Presidio Park, and Chollas Lake were also closed to the public. City crews were working to remove fallen tree limbs and branches blocking streets and walkways, according to the city.
The high winds were also impacting street lights.
One of the trees that fell in the park earlier Thursday morning landed on a woman who had to be taken to a hospital to treat head and other injuries.
According to the city, teams will be monitoring the high winds and working to clean up public areas around Balboa Park, within Presidio Park, and nearby Morley Field.
Visitors were asked to avoid trying to enter Balboa Park and to use caution in and around the affected areas. Employees working in the park, museums, and other cultural institutions in Balboa Park are asked to leave for the day.
The closures will remain in effect for the rest of the day out of an abundance of caution to protect public safety. The city will evaluate conditions before reopening park areas to public access Friday.
In Escondido, an 80-foot eucalyptus tree fell over a fence on San Pasqual Valley Road, landing in Kim Billman's driveway.
"My first feeling I thought, shoot, it happened, I'm still here, yeah, I'm still here," said Billman.
She had just finished feeding her two miniature horses and was inches away from where the tree landed.
"Every day when I'd come out to feed the horses, I thought, when is it going to kill me," said Billman.
She says she and her neighbor have been concerned about the eucalyptus tree and reporting it to Caltrans for years. Billman says she even filed another report a few weeks ago.
"I don't want to bad mouth anybody, but I knew it was a problem," said Billman.
Later in the day, San Diego Fire and Rescue were called to another downed eucalyptus in Scripps ranch that landed on three townhome garages. Crews say it trapped a person, but no injuries were reported.
During windy conditions, San Diegans are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings, stay away from large trees with heavy branches, and use caution during their commutes.
To report downed trees or streetlights, use the cities Get It Done app or call 619-527-7500.
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