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Cold snap continues across Southland

December 9, 2009 12:49:19 AM PST
The first cold storm of the year left its mark in the air and on surrounding mountains in the form of snow. For the second day in a row, residents woke up to near-freezing conditions.Wednesday night, Jack Frost was once again slated to blow a good dose of icy weather across the high desert.

"It's been pretty chilly. Just moved out here, so it's the first time in the real cold weather, still trying to stay warm," said Santa Clarita resident Michael Young.

Temperatures in Santa Clarita dropped down to 32 degrees early Wednesday morning, but many residents in the area said they look forward to this type of weather.

"I love it. I'm so done with the hot. I'm so done with it. I'm ready for the rain, bring it on," said Tres Stewart of Santa Clarita.

It was even colder in the high desert, where temperatures dropped below the freezing mark, making sidewalks treacherous.

Santa Clarita resident Elias Whitecrow said he enjoys the cold weather because it reminds him of home. He is from Alaska. "I love it when I go outside, and I can see my breath in the air," he said.

"It feels like it's about negative-12 degrees out here," said Lancaster resident James Johnson. "Every night when I wake up about 3 in the morning, I can't move my hands, can't move my feet, nothing. We're going to die out here in this cold weather."

"Lately, the last few nights, it's just been like, really cold. Like, cold like I've never felt before," said Mark Gonzales from Lancaster. "I've been over on the East Coast before, Chicago and New York, and the cold there feels like it's down here in California -- it's like, 'wow,' it's amazing."

Residents said despite these tough economic times, they'll pay whatever it takes to stay warm in their homes.

"We manage. We do what we've got to do to get by," said Johnson.

"This is a heat wave where I come from -- upstate New York," said Bob Sheinberg from Rosamond. "We used to go skiing at 25, 30 below. This is nothing. I wear short-sleeve shirts all year-round here."

"I love it, it's great. It's wintertime. It's what it's supposed to be. You don't want it to be sunny all the time, do you?" said Palmdale resident Jenny Henphill.

While some appreciated the chilly weather, most were just trying to stay warm. At the local Home Depot, residents stocked up on space heaters and Duraflame logs.

The cold produced enough frost to cancel or delays flights at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. Authorities said the planes didn't have proper de-icing equipment. Ontario International Airport had the same problem on Tuesday.

Winter may still be a few weeks off, but the winter-like weather is here now.

Safety Tips for Space Heater Use

  • Always turn the space heater off and unplug the unit when leaving the room
  • Be sure to keep it away from any object that may catch on fire
  • Do not leave children or pets unattended around a space heater
  • Keep the space heater away from water, including bath tubs and showers
  • Do not leave the space heater on while sleeping
  • Always have an emergency evacuation plan and a safe meeting place in case of a fire

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