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Powerful winds blow through the night in Santa Clarita

May 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Winds continued to howl through the high desert Wednesday, knocking out power lines and damaging cars as pieces of metal from a roof were sent flying through the air.

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It all began Tuesday night when high winds kicked up, creating problems in Lancaster where more than 50 power poles were knocked down. Strong gusts reached up to 65 mph in some areas.

The affected areas were 110th Street West between Avenues G and D. The California Highway Patrol said the road would be closed for at least 24 hours, if not longer, as Southern California Edison crews attempt to fight the wind and pull the power poles back up to restore electricity to area residents.

As of 3 p.m., Southern California Edison said full power was restored to several homes that had been without electricity since Tuesday night. They also asked residents to call 911 if they see a downed power line.

In the meantime, workers at an automotive shop said the winds were so strong, metal sheets from a rooftop were torn off and tossed into several cars, causing damage.

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For Francisca Owen and her son, the powerful winds made it difficult to sleep through the night and have aggravated their allergies.

"You just get a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing constantly, which I'm one of them, but I think he gets it worse than I do," said Owen.

The wind also startled drivers, who found the windy conditions unnerving. Drivers dodged debris and sand, and on the 14 Freeway, motorists had to slow down to avoid being blown around.

"You get blown around a little bit, I wouldn't want to drive any high-volume vehicles," said Jim Mashore of Lancaster.

High wind warnings were expected to affect the Antelope Valley throughout the day with the winds only getting stronger, possibly reaching 80 mph in some areas.

According to residents, winds were calm in Santa Clarita on Wednesday afternoon compared to the morning.

"Really really bad this morning yes, it came in really hard, a lot of debris flying around, broken branches off of trees. It was pretty scary," said resident Rick Bahr.

The National Weather Service said it clocked wind gusts at 80 mph on Whitaker Peak in the mountains near the I-5.

The wind warnings are set to last until Thursday morning for the mountain areas in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. A wind advisory was expected to last until Saturday morning for San Bernardino County mountains.

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