SAN MATEO COUNTY (BCN) — Volunteers of the unincorporated San Mateo County community of Sky Londa got together and cleared the only way in or out of their homes Tuesday when a tree fell across state Highway 35, California Highway Patrol officials said Wednesday.
The tree came down at 1:15 p.m. on Highway 35 just south of state Highway 84. Earlier, mudslides and a fallen tree had closed state Highway 84, the other way in and out of Sky Londa.
Caltrans crews were too busy to respond to either situation because of the storm.
But a group of six residents got out chainsaws and cut away enough tree branches to let traffic pass under the tree trunk. The effort proved fortunate for some who had children to pick up from school, according to the CHP.
The six then started on the trunk, which they had cut up and hauled away by 2 p.m. At about the same time, Caltrans crews came and cleared away mud from the northbound side of the highway.
“People who live in the mountains know that trees come down and many of them carry chainsaws for just such an occasion,” CHP Sgt. Paul McCarthy said in a statement. “But I have never seen this many people step up and help out.”