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Roaring winds causing damage across Southland

Strong winds in Valley Village on Monday, April 8, 2013, downed a large tree, causing it to pin two cars underneath its massive branches. A few steps away, at least one power pole also came crashing down.
April 8, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
High-wind warnings were issued across Southern California on Monday as gusts of up to 80 mph roared across the region.

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The National Weather Service issued a high-wind warning over the weekend that was expected to last until 6 a.m. Tuesday, with the strongest winds hitting Monday. Los Angeles County, the valleys and Orange County can expect winds to blow through in the afternoon and evening. Gusts up to 80 mph were expected to hit the mountains, while the valleys could see 60 mph winds and the high desert could see 70 mph winds. The NWS said gusts up to 100 mph are likely over exposed higher elevation ridges.

The NWS also warned that the high winds Monday could down power lines and tree limbs, cause property damage and create hazardous driving conditions.

In Valley Village, a large, downed tree pinned two cars underneath its massive branches. A few steps away, at least one power pole also came crashing down.

In San Marino, downed power lines may have caused a house in the 2500 block of Huntington Drive to catch fire.

Southern California Edison reported that the strong winds knocked out power for 9,600 customers by 3 p.m.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, part of the 14 Freeway was shut down due to extreme winds and a dust storm that significantly cut down visibility.

The CHP reported two accidents in the Antelope Valley in the morning. The CHP wants everyone to be mindful of the blustery spring weather.

"The wind can create all kinds of problems, obviously with the high-profile vehicles, but also with debris in the roadway," said CHP Officer John Lutz. "Sometimes it creates a lot of dust storms, as it does in the higher Antelope Valley areas."

Through the Grapevine, powerful gusts tossed high profile vehicles from side to side. In Gorman, lighted signs alerted motorists on the I-5. Drivers are well aware of the dangers in these elements.

"Really heavy winds, really hard winds. You could feel the car moving back and forth," said driver Raymond Gonzales of Castaic. "It was pretty crazy out on the highway."

The wind apparently also uprooted a couple of trees at First and Main streets in downtown Los Angeles.

While the winds weren't powerful enough to cause severe damage in the Victor Valley area, it was a different story in Amboy. Hurricane force gusts took down the steeple at St. Raymond's Church.

Local power companies are warning customers to call 911 if they see downed power lines.


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