House damaged.

A tree crushes a house on 400 block of Adena Street in Pasadena. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)

High winds forced Pasadena officials to close public schools and declare a state of emergency early Thursday, as gusts toppled trees, knocked out power and snarled traffic throughout the foothills.

At 5:52 a.m., city officials posted a notice announcing Pasadena ARTS buses would not be running and advised residents to stay home until the winds ease up and crews can clear streets.

Meanwhile, Pasadena City College and Pasadena Unified School District both closed school for the day as many buildings are still without power.

Callers flooded emergency dispatchers with reports of downed power lines and trees that were close to falling onto homes.

Nearly 6,000 customers in Pasadena remain without power this morning as the city continues to grapple with widespread wind damage, including downed power lines and toppled trees.

“We have hundreds of downed wires, we have had several fires and large trees into structures,” Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.

A tree that crashed into an apartment building on Hudson Avenue forced the evacuation of 40 residents to a city facility being staffed by the American Red Cross" href="http://www.pasadenasun.com/topic/disasters-accidents/relief-aid-organizations/american-red-cross-ORCIG000010.topic">Red Cross, Derderian added.

The westbound Ventura (134) Freeway was briefly shut down this morning as crews works to remove large branches from the roadway.

Pasadena established two information lines for the public, (626) 564-0199 and (626) 584-0299.

-- Bill Kisliuk and Jason Wells, Times Community News

Photo: A tree toppled over into a driveway in the 2100 block of Crescenta Avenue in Montrose. Credit: Megan O'Neil/Times Community News