Howling Winds Topple Tree, Dodger Sign

Winds topple a tree in Glendale and a few letters of the "Think Blue" sign at Dodger Stadium

Powerful Santa Ana winds howled through Southern California Thursday -- toppling at least one large tree and damaging the "Think Blue" sign at Dodger Stadium -- as some communities continue to clean debris left behind by the Nov. 30 wind storm.

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In Glendale, winds toppled a tree estimated at 70- to 100-feet tall. A fissure developed slowly in the ground before the tree finally collapsed across a street.

"There was fissure, and when the wind blew I saw it move," said resident Joanna Linkchorst. "It was kind of graceful. It didn't crash, but it just blew so gracefully."

A Glendale firefighter captured video of the tree as it fell (watch here).

At Dodger Stadium, the wind knocked over a few letters of the "Think Blue" sign, turning it into the "INK BLJE" sign. The T and H flopped forward onto the hillside.

Winds knocked over a big rig early Thursday on a freeway transition road in San Bernardino County below the Cajon Pass. No injuries were reported.

In Pasadena, crews continued to remove branches, leaves and other debris scattered during the Nov. 30 wind storm, which left hundreds of thousands of customers without power for days. Crews have been working in 12-hour shifts to clear debris.

"We have everything pinned down -- the Christmas decorations and everything," said Keith Johnson, of Pasadena.

Winds picked up Thursday morning as cold, dry air from the western interior flowed toward the region. That air speeds up as it squeezes through mountain passes and canyons closer to the coast, creating the notorious Santa Ana winds.

Expect gusts to 60 mph with sustained winds between 25 and 40 mph. Gusts up to 40 mph were reported early Thursday in the Acton and Fontana areas.

"As it builds through the afternoon and overnight hours, the winds really pick up," said NBC4 forecaster Byron Miranda.

The winds will create hazardous travel conditions for high-profile vehicles and increase the risk of wildfires.

During the Nov. 30 windstorm, gusts near 100 mph toppled trees and damaged power and traffic light poles. Nearly 650,000 homes and businesses lost power.

This time around, Southern California Edison plans to use Twitter and Facebook to post information on outages. The utility was criticized for its response to outages caused by the November storm.

Click here for information from LADWP.


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By late Thursday, there were no power outages reported in the LADWP service area. Edison had reports of power outages in Garden Grove, San Bernardino and Tustin. But most of those outages had been repaired by midnight.

Windy conditions are likely through Friday afternoon before calm conditions arrive for the holiday weekend.

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