Southern California residents cope with wind damage, outages

HIGHLAND PARK, LOS ANGELES

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Cleanup crews on Saturday were still trying to get a handle on the widespread damage.

With utility crews already hard at work, the only thing people without power can do is sit and wait.

For some of them, that means packing up and moving into a hotel room - if they can find one.

"We'll keep looking until we find something. It's really cold inside the house," said Anupom Ganguli of Arcadia.

Steve and Katrina Vaughan and their two young daughters were enjoying the electricity Saturday night after three days and counting without power at their Arcadia home.

"We tried staying at the house but it got so cold, it got colder each night, so now we checked in tonight and plan to stay a couple days because it's probably going to be a while," Steven Vaughan said.

Many of those fortunate enough to find a hotel room have brought a piece of home with them for fear it could be days before they can return. Like ABC7Weather on Facebook to stay on top of the latest weather conditions.

Cleanup crews on Saturday were still trying to get a handle on the widespread damage.

In Highland Park, one homeowner is struggling to get back on her feet.

One of the limbs of a towering 110-year-old pine tree fell on Amy Phillips' house, crushing its rear half.

Another limb damaged a neighbor's garage and fence.

Phillips says her insurance company has been slow to respond, as well as city inspectors. No one has been out to survey the damage or gauge the house's structural integrity.

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"There was a massive noise and I knew something terrible had happened to the house," Phillips said. "I put on my shoes and opened the door from my bedroom and the house was full of dust. I peeked out and I realized the kitchen had been demolished by a massive branch."

Phillips, who has lived at the 103-year-old house for the last seven years, said she's grateful she wasn't hurt. She's staying with friends in the meantime.

Though perhaps not as devastating, outages were also a major problem.

Food purchased two hours before the big wind storm hit is starting to smell a tad foul for a Sierra Madre family.

Nearly everything in the Weitzel family's refrigerator has melted or spoiled. They were forced to toss out nearly $300 worth of food.

The hurricane-force winds that blasted the foothill communities caused trees to snap and power to go out.

"I haven't seen that kind of damage anywhere here in a long, long time," Jeffrey Weitzel said.

See safety tips to follow in case of a power outage.

On Saturday, the family loaded up on the essentials: ice and food that won't spoil.

Arcadia and Sierra Madre residents who are in need of flashlights, ice or water can pick up those emergency items at 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.

See photos of wind damage across Southern California.

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