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Best storm clean up in the SGV: Alhambra?

Alhambra's elected leadership commended the city at a City Council Meeting Monday for what they determined was the best clean up efforts of neighboring communities.

“I think our city is the cleanest city out of all the cities with the mess,” Councilwoman Barbara Messina said. “You would never even know we had a problem.”

The destructive winds that swept through the Southland in the early hours of December 1 left more than 10,000 Alhambra residents without power and damaged hundreds of trees. The city declared a state of emergency, and Governor Brown on Saturday proclaimed one for the entire County of Los Angeles due to “major damage and extensive interruption of utilities and other critical services."

The San Gabriel Valley is considered to have sustained the worst damage out of the surrounding areas.

Monterey Park City Manager Paul Talbot said the comparison of who did the best clean up in the area is hard to gauge. Alhambra, he said, "did a great job and they sure put a lot of effort and resources into cleaning up." But Talbot, who is a resident and former mayor of Alhambra, noted that it and Monterey Park were in the "tail end of the damage, whereas it was a lot worse the further north you go."

City Council members at the Monday meeting, nonetheless, said that Alhambra has performed the best in the area in terms of recovery. Describing his drive into Alhambra through neighboring cities, such as South Pasadena and Temple City in the days following the storm, Councilman Gary Yamauchi said the difference was apparent. “It felt like you were really crossing some kind of borderline, where all of a sudden everything got clean,” he said. “It's just remarkable what happened here in Alhambra.”

Councilman Steven Placido added, “A couple trees went down, but not only did we fare better than other communities, but we also responded better to our residents than other communities did.”

Councilman Stephen Sham was the only official at the brief, 19-minute long Council meeting, who noted that the clean up effort was not yet complete. “There is some work to be done," Sham said. And then he added: "We are the best looking city of all the cities."

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