SoCal winds topple trees, create tumbleweed traffic jam

VICTORVILLE, Calif. (KABC) -- Powerful winds wreaked havoc throughout the Southland on Thursday, knocking out power, capsizing a boat and creating a tumbleweed traffic jam.

Several high wind watches and warnings were in effect from 9 p.m. Thursday through Friday morning in different parts of Southern California, including the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys, as well as areas in the Inland Empire and Los Angeles County mountains.

The extreme weather led to thousands of reported power outages believed to be wind-related. According to Socal Edison, 7,700 customers were without power across the region, most of them likely due to the strong wind conditions. The hardest hit was an unincorporated area of San Bernardino, which had 1,607 customers without power. Riverside had 1,086 customers without power.

MORE: Southern California weather watches/warnings

The heavy winds also brought down a large tree on top of a mobile home in Victorville, which left a family temporarily trapped inside. No injuries were reported as fire crews helped rescue the family.

MORE: Latest weather forecast for Southern California

The damaging conditions pounded the high desert all afternoon, which led to a tumbleweed traffic jam on National Trail Highway. At one point, the road had to be shut down in both directions. California Highway Patrol and Public Works officials, along with the help of a good Samaritan, helped clear the roads.

Four boaters were pulled from the waters off Redondo Beach when their sailboat crashed into the pier and capsized in the high winds and turbulent surf. AIR7HD was over the scene moments later, as all four people were on shore wrapped in shiny thermal blankets and being checked out by paramedics. Officials said all were expected to be OK.

The howling winds kicked up dust, sand and dirt throughout the valley and the Inland Empire, reducing visibility for drivers.
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