In Temple City, the Los Angeles suburb where Johnson lives, a row of toppled power poles with wires attached blocked a street. The city’s main street remained a shuttered ghost town as cars inched past darkened stop lights and shop signs in Chinese.
Seventy-five percent of the city remained without power. As residents in some parts were being advised to boil water or use bottled water, others began tossing out the food in their increasingly pungent refrigerators. As many as 200 trees fell in the storms.
As the night loomed, police increased patrols and the city handed out free flashlights.
During the day, residents began cleaning up, filling trash bags with leaves and branches. Streets with older, larger trees suffered the worst damage as top-heavy trunks fell over. But many homes were spared, including that of Johnson’s next-door neighbor, Margaret Mushinskie.