Rains, winds cause oak to fall on Park Ave. house in Sonoma

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When Kathy Truax was awakened at 3:30 a.m. Friday morning by a bright flash of light, followed by a ripping booming sound that shook the house, her first thought was that lightning had struck her Park Avenue house.

When she walked into her living room and found the floor covered with fine white down, she thought the lightning had hit her sofa.

Only then did she notice the hole in the roof, the rain pouring in, and branches from the big oak tree that grew in her front yard coming in through the ceiling. So she called 911 – who advised her to get out of the house. She quickly found her cat and left.

Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue responded with a single truck to the hazardous conditions call, and helped Truax and her frightened cat. They also went into her art studio and helped remove all the art and furniture that faced damage from the rain that was still coming down.

The firefighters were at the location for over an hour assisting Truax. “I can’t say enough about how helpful they were,” said Truax, a painter and Art Trails participant.

When the substantial oak fell, it apparently took out a transformer and power lines on both sides of Park Avenue, a residential street off Mountain Avenue in the Agua Caliente neighborhood to the east of Sonoma Highway.

There were no other residents or neighbors as dramatically affected, other than by the power outage. Truax was able to find another place to stay, as her current house was deemed unfit to occupy in the rainy weather.

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