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Entries in Santa Ana Winds (3)

Friday
Dec022011

Santa Ana Winds Blow Eastward; SoCal Still Under Advisory

Strong winds knocked down this tree in Arcadia, Calif. on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. KABC-TV(PASADENA, Calif.) -- The strong Santa Ana winds -- deemed the worst in 10 years -- that blasted through Southern California and much of the West on Thursday are blowing their way eastward after leaving a trail of damage behind them.

Gusts over 100 miles an hour were clocked in several states, knocking down trees, power lines and even semi-trailer trucks.

The storm is now expected to inch farther east, hitting states like Oklahoma, Missouri and Indiana.  But California isn't out of the woods just yet.  A high wind advisory remains in effect until Friday afternoon over much of Southern California.

Along with the threat of a second punch of high winds, firefighters in Southern California are also making preparations in case wildfires erupt on Friday.

"We're gonna have 200 additional firefighters on duty tomorrow, including additional hand crews, aircrafts and engines.  We'll be ready," said a Los Angeles County fire official.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec012011

Powerful Santa Ana Winds Blast Southern California

A tree knocked down the canopy at a Shell station in Pasadena on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. KABC-TV(LOS ANGELES) -- The fiercest Santa Ana winds in a decade swept through Southern California Wednesday night, knocking down trees and causing extensive power outages and scattered flight delays.

High wind warnings were also issued for Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Arizona, and early Thursday winds of over 90 mph in Utah overturned semi-trailer rigs and left 30,000 homes and businesses without power, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

In southern California, nearly 200,000 customers were without power Thursday morning, Southern California Edison told KABC-TV, while the Los Angeles Department of Power and Water said 87,000 customers were in the dark. The San Gabriel Valley was especially hard-hit by the outages, and the Pasadena area was strewn with downed trees.

The storm -- carrying winds of up to 60 mph in LA and up to 140 mph in the mountains -- is expected to peak on the West Coast Thursday and continue through Friday. The National Weather Service warned that winds as high as 80 mph are expected in higher-elevation areas near LA Thursday. Heavy snow hit the Rockies, the Weather Service said, and the storm system is heading for the Midwest and the Mississippi Valley this weekend.

The Weather Service said there was a "significant fire threat" in southern California, and officials in the LA area said they were worried. "When you get 60, 70, 80 mile-an-hour winds, if a fire were to get established, because the brush is still dry even though we had some rain recently, it's going to be very difficult to stop," Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Mark Savage told KABC.

At Los Angeles International Airport, power failed Wednesday night for about an hour, stranding waiting passengers in the dark. More than 20 inbound flights had to be diverted because of debris blowing around on the runways, KABC TV reported.

By Thursday morning, aircraft were landing again.

Trees fell on freeways, on a gas station in Pasadena, and in front yards. In Van Nuys, a homeowner told KABC that he thought it was an earthquake at first when a huge tree fell over in front of his home.

"All of a sudden I heard this huge rumbling sound and then the ground actually shook bad, and I wasn't sure if it was an earthquake or what was going on, and so I ran out to the front of the house and here is this 150-foot tree...I mean thank God it didn't fall toward our house," said the homeowner, Chris Drury.

Several school districts announced shutdowns Thursday in the San Gabriel area, though schools in the LA Unified district were open.

The Santa Ana winds are a fall phenomenon on the West Coast -- triggered when dry winds blow west from the desert and squeeze through the mountains.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec012011

California Winds Black Out LAX, Leave Thousands Without Power

A tree fell on the canopy of a Shell gas station in Pasadena, Calif., on Thursday. KABC-TV/ABC News Los Angeles(LOS ANGELES) -- Fierce Santa Ana winds are blasting California with gusts up to 100 miles an hour, taking down trees and knocking out power to nearly 200,000 customers in the southern part of the state. The winds even managed to black out Los Angeles International Airport, where a number of flights had to be delayed or rerouted.

“It seemed like everything stopped. You were just forced to a sudden halt,” said Dalton Kratz, who was at the Los Angeles airport Wednesday night when the lights went out.

“I heard this huge rumbling sound and then the ground actually shook bad, and I wasn't sure if it was an earthquake or what was going on, so I ran out in front of the house and there's this 150 foot tree,” said Chris Drury, of nearby Van Nuys.

Further north in Sacramento, the wind blew a large tree onto Stanley Burton's home.

“All I heard was just a snapping sound,” Burton said. “Pop, pop, pop. Sounded like almost like firecrackers. Next thing I knew boom!  It goes down.”

Fire crews are preparing for the worst. In Occidental, some were evacuated after winds fanned the flames of a brush fire.

“When you get 60, 70, 80 mile an hour winds…it’s going to be very difficult to stop,” said Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Mark Savage.

Workers from California Department of Transportation were out early Thursday morning trying to clear downed trees from three Los Angeles freeways ahead of the city’s notorious rush hour traffic.

The winds are the most powerful California has seen in 10 years -- and they’re not expected to calm just yet. The National Weather Service says the windstorm is expected to peak early Thursday and last through Friday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio