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Strong winds snap trees, knock out power

March 23, 2009 8:34:58 AM PDT
Powerful wind gusts toppled huge trees, kicked up a fierce surf and knocked out power to thousands over the weekend.The wind was still blowing strong in Castaic in the Santa Clarita Valley on Monday morning. Gusts up to 50 miles per hour blew through the area in the early hours, but the National Weather Service lifted a wind advisory for the area by about 10 a.m.

"It woke me up a few times last night, the wind was so strong. I could feel the whole house kind of rumble," said Steve Heffernan, a Santa Clarita resident.

Gusty winds created problems for residents. The wind knocked down a massive tree in Sherman Oaks, narrowly missing two parked car. The tree came down right in between the cars.

In Culver City, a 50-foot tall Chinese elm tree came crashing down on Sunday, landing on a Ford Explorer. The 70-year-old tree uprooted the sidewalk, but it did not land on any nearby homes.

"I didn't know it had come down until my neighbor's knocking on my door saying, 'Are you okay?' and I'm wondering why is he panicking so much," said Matthew Allen, owner of the SUV.

The wind has also knocked out power to about 3,200 Edison customers in the South Bay, Hawthorne, Compton and Carson. Crews worked Monday to fix those outages. By Monday afternoon, 278 customers, mostly in the South Bay, were still without power.

The spring storm that moved into Southern California on Sunday has brought cooler temperatures, rain and plenty of strong wind.

"It was cold, but I also lived in Idaho for two years, so it's not that bad," said motorist Marty Lange.

It was definitely colder in Frazier Park, where flurries fell overnight. The snowfall in the mountains is going to help extend the ski season for local ski resorts.

Freeway signs alerted drivers heading north on Interstate 5 of high winds ahead.

"It's just a lot of cross wind and a lot of debris," said driver Curt Webb. Webb said he had to dodge tumbleweed and trash on the road.


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