Winds bring down tree, trio escapes unharmed |

Winds bring down tree, trio escapes unharmed

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

Les Gorsuch was not injured Tuesday afternoon when a large branch from a cottonwood tree fell on his car while he and a friend sat waiting in it outside his North Carson City home. High winds caused power outages and other damage around the area. Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Les Gorsuch didn’t need a meteorologist to tell him it was windy Tuesday, the massive cottonwood branch that crashed down onto his car as he sat inside was evidence enough.

“It was pretty bizarre,” said Gorsuch. “We had just come home for a quick lunch and went out to the car to head back to work when the tree branch broke, and there was a sea of green around me.”

Gorsuch said he felt fortunate that he, his co-worker and girlfriend escaped unharmed.

“That branch is 20 feet long and was 16 feet high. It was a miracle,” he said, “and there were only a couple scratches on the car.”

Winds gusts of up to 45 mph blasted their way through Carson City, knocking down not only Gorsuch’s branch but another branch on Fifth Street that took out a power line carrying energy to 900 customers – including the Carson City Courthouse and Sheriff’s Department.

Karl Walquist, spokesman for Sierra Pacific Power Co., said when crews cleared the branch they discovered the line was not broken. Service was restored within 45 minutes, he said.

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Today’s weather isn’t expected to be quite as blustery, but it is forecasted to be colder, said Jessica Keilhorn with the National Weather Service.

“We are looking for a high of 61, partly cloudy with some rain showers possible in the morning and a chance of some snow showers above 6,500 feet,” she said.

She said the snow forecasted for Tuesday never materialized.

Wednesday night into Thursday morning will see a low of 34 degrees.

“On Friday, we’ll start to see it warm up into the mid 70s and then into the low 80s by Saturday,” Keilhorn said.

For Gorsuch, any change in the weather is a good thing.

“I’ve been walking under a dark cloud this whole year. I just got out of the hospital for having a ruptured appendix where I was about four hours from death, and now I’m heading back to work and a tree falls on me,” he said with a laugh. “Everything happens in threes. We ought to go play the slots.”

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.