High Winds Topple Trees, Cause Power Outages Across SoCal

Strong overnight gusts roared through Southern California into Friday morning, toppling trees and knocking out power to thousands of customers as high wind warnings were in effect for several areas.

As of 11:30 a.m., as many as 23,000 customers across Los Angeles were experiencing power outages, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. More than 2,700 of those customers were in Northridge, LADWP said. Other highly-affected areas included East Hollywood, with more than 2,000 left in the dark, Baldwin Hills/Creshaw, with 1,916 customers affected, Koreatown with about 1,900 customers, and Faircrest Heights, the small neighborhood just south of LACMA where nearly 2,000 were without power.

By 5 p.m., SoCal Edison said its numbers had improved to 1,606 customers without power.

LADWP reported that 3,626 customers were still without power.

The utility said crews were working through dangerous wind conditions to restore power as quickly as possible. It's unknown how long repairs will take and when power will be restored.

Ovenight winds toppled trees onto cars and knocked down power poles across the Southland, including in the areas of Inglewood, Arlington Heights and University Park.

In Northridge, a massive tree came crashing down onto a cinder block wall, blocking lanes on Wilbur Avenue. At least five cars were damaged by a tree that toppled onto a sidewalk on Croft Avenue in West Hollywood. 

Caltrans crews also removed a large tree that was blocking the southbound 405 off-ramp at Burbank Boulevard. 

In Granda Hills, firefighters attacked a fire fanned by strong winds at a vacant house in the 11000 block of Elnora Place Friday morning. No injuries were reported. Firefighters also faced dangerous wind conditions while battling a brush fire that erupted in Santa Clarita. 

North winds 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph were expected throughout the morning with the strongest winds below passes and canyons from Malibu through West Los Angeles to the Hollywood Hills, according to the National Weather Service.

Strong winds buffeting parts of Riverside County, including the Coachella Valley where a musical festival was being held, were expected to continue into the weekend as a trough of low pressure affected the region.

Winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts that may reach 60 mph in some locales in the forecast prompted a National Weather Service high wind warning for the Coachella Valley, the San Gorgonio Pass and the Riverside County mountains that is set to extend until 11 a.m. Saturday.

Forecasters said the winds may be strong enough to kick up sand and dust alongside desert roadways, which could make for hazardous driving conditions on portions of Interstates 10 and 15, and on state Route 111 in the Coachella Valley. Motorists, especially those in high profile vehicles, were urged to use caution.

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