Sports & Recreation

City closed Park Hill as storm approached

Concern about eucalyptus trees falling leads to the precaution

Vista Park Hill, the downtown park that looms over downtown Hollister, was expected to be closed Wednesday afternoon and likely will stay closed Thursday as the hilly area could face the brunt of the wet and windy conditions expected to roll into the area overnight.

City Manager William Avera said that the abundance of eucalyptus trees in the park are a concern for officials, who don't want residents in the park if and when branches or trees themselves get knocked down during the storm. "With the high wind, eucalyptus has a tendancy to not hold up very well," he said, adding that Park Hill is closed "all the time" ahead of predicted strong storms.

Street crews have been out during the past couple of weeks cleaning storm drains, but aside from making sandbags available at the city yard on South Street and at fire station no. 2 on Union Road, city employees are just standing at the ready to respond to storm-related issues.

"The wind is the biggest concern," Avera said. "There has not been that much rain to saturate the soil — it's not early enough in winter," so he wasn't expecting trees to fall due to saturation. The wind, however, is the great unknown, with gusts expected to exceed 30 mph at times.

Adam Breen

Adam Breen has been a San Benito County resident since 1980 and graduated from Sacred Heart School and San Benito High School before earning a bachelor's degree from California State University, Fresno. A father of two sons, Adam has taught newspaper, English and yearbook at SBHS for the past decade, after six years as a magazine editor for Santa Clara University. He previously was editor of the Hollister Free Lance and content director for BenitoLink.