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Strong winds knock out power, down trees

December 30, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
After all the rain Southern California has had, trees were no match for strong gusts that blew through the area Wednesday night. Crews worked to clear a massive ficus tree that fell on two cars and blocked Central Avenue in Glendale Thursday morning.

"It was a crack, I thought it was thunder but it was a little sharper sounding than thunder," said Armen Chakmakin of Glendale.

The tree busted out the back windshield of one car, tearing up the sidewalk where it was rooted.

In San Fernando, a massive oak tree was completely uprooted from the sidewalk, crushing an SUV and blocking the westbound lanes of Brand Boulevard.

"I'm upset, but what am I going to do? I'm just making light of this," said Erika Flores, owner of the crushed SUV.

The tree also snapped off a palm tree like a twig.

In Pacific Palisades, a tree fell onto a moving SUV on Sunset and Brooktree Road. The driver was a bit shaken up but not injured.

"I was driving down Sunset, and the vehicle swerved. Within, not even two seconds, and immediately afterward I had a tree in my windshield," said Jared Risman.

Another tree toppled over in Whittier, crushing a parked SUV and causing minor damage to vehicles around it.

"I heard a loud crash outside the house, it sounded like thunder, and I wasn't sure if part of my roof fell off or something," said Eric Nelson of Whittier.

In the Hollywood Hills, a home on the 3200 block of Hillock Drive suffered some damage when the wind blew a tree onto its roof. The tree also knocked down power lines, adding to the thousands who woke up without power on Thursday morning.

The hardest hit areas included Bell Gardens, Inglewood, Downey and Lancaster.

DWP officials said there are many smaller lines down in neighborhoods, and residents should consider them dangerous. If you see a downed power line, you can call (800) DIAL-DWP.


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