• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Strong winds pound SoCal mountains, valleys

December 22, 2009 12:16:59 AM PST
Powerful winds blew into Southern California's mountains and valleys Tuesday and were expected to gain strength, producing gusts of up to 70 miles per hour amid chilly temperatures.

The strongest winds were expected in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys and the San Gabriel mountains.

High wind warnings and wind advisories are in effect through Wednesday in some areas.

Gusty winds are making travel difficult for many motorists, including big rigs and buses, especially on the 14 Freeway.

"It's pretty tough, I mean, you've got to keep both hands on the wheel and pay attention to what you're doing as you're passing semis and other large vehicles. You have to really pay attention," said motorist Chuck Dorsey. "I really recommend staying home. I'm a trucker also so I've got a fair amount of experience, but I'm not perfect either, you know, so if it gets too bad I'll pull over myself."

Forecasters warned of difficult driving conditions in mountainous areas due to high winds and snow showers. With wind gusts expected to top 70 miles per hour in the high desert, dust and sand could reduce visibility to a quarter-mile or less at times.

The howling wind mixed with a frosty holiday chill made for a teeth chattering day in the Antelope Valley.

The strong winds uprooted trees and caused quite a bit of damage across the Los Angeles area Tuesday. A massive tree fell onto a car in the 10400 block of Riverside Drive in Toluca Lake, splitting the roof in half. Fortunately, no one was injured, but the car was badly damaged.

In Van Nuys, the fierce wind knocked over another tree on Sherman Way, near Tyrone Avenue, partially blocking the roadway. Traffic had to be diverted for hours while crews cleaned up the mess.

And in Glendale, a tree came crashing down onto an SUV on Flower Street. Luckily, no one was injured.

City News Service contributed to this report.


Load Comments