Wicked winds cause widespread damage, bring bone-chilling temps across SoCal

Monday, February 3, 2020
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Cold and gusty winds from Sunday night continued to wreak havoc across parts of the Southland on Monday, downing trees and triggering power outages.

Cold and gusty winds from Sunday night continued to wreak havoc across parts of the Southland on Monday, downing trees and triggering power outages.

The high winds made for dangerous driving conditions in Southern California, including in Fontana where a trailer was blown over on the 210 Freeway. No injuries were reported.

The threat of light snow and steady, powerful wind gusts created a hazardous commute in the Grapevine area Sunday night and Monday morning.

Those traveling through communities along Interstate 5 near the Grapevine were surprised by the bone-chilling weather and plunging temperatures.

"We were caught off guard... It just got cold right after sunset," said Armen Abelyan.

Temperatures are expected to be in the low 30s into Monday and Tuesday nights, according to the NWS.

Winds left their mark in Sierra Madre, where a tree crashed onto two vehicles and downed power lines. No injuries were reported.

Power was out in the area of the 700 block of Fairview Avenue. It was not immediately clear when power would be restored.

"Basically, it was a really loud boom. Not like a splitting sound like you'd think you would hear with a tree dropping. But we definitely heard the boom and a big old crunch," said Abel Lopez, an owner of one of the vehicle that was totaled. "Me and my lady were in the bed in the back house and we were worried 'cause we knew her cousin was up front. And sure enough, the tree landed within five feet of his window, so that's pretty wild."

In South Los Angeles, the winds were believed to be responsible for toppling over a large shopping plaza sign which fell over onto a car. The car was parked in a lot near the corner of Florence and Vermont avenues. No injuries were immediately reported.

Strong winds ripped a massive tree out of the concrete along Beachwood Drive in Hollywood. Part of a stairway leading up to a nearby home crumbled as the tree toppled onto the roadway and what appeared to be the wall of another resident's backyard.

In Porter Ranch, a tree fell onto lanes of the 118 Freeway near Tampa Avenue, causing at least one crash.

Joe Hernandez's sedan sustained significant front end damage, including a large branch lodged into the car's grille and a sheared tire.

"It just came out of nowhere. Everybody else was flowing with traffic, and I was looking straight ahead and next thing you know... it's like we go through a bale of hay," Hernandez said. "The car just starts breaking down and now I gotta stop."

The hours-long cleanup prompted the California Highway Patrol to shut down the lanes. The freeway has since reopened.

The whipping winds also caused a tree to crash onto a carport, crushing several vehicles on Gadsden Avenue in Lancaster.

About a block away, another tree was toppled, falling on top of a two-story apartment building. It is unclear if any significant damage was reported.

At least one person was transported to an area hospital after falling branches hit their vehicle.