Los Angeles

High Wind Wreaks Havoc on Trees, Power Lines Across SoCal

High winds charged through Southern California Saturday, taking down power lines, trees and billboard in dozens of incidents that left tens of thousands of people without power, authorities said.

No wind-related injuries were reported, but the wind was blamed for home evacuations, damage to homes, cars and more. In maybe the most visible sign of damage, a San Fernando Valley billboard toppled at Lankershim Boulevard and Vanowen Street in North Hollywood Saturday morning.

About noon, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power tweeted that crews had restored power to 33,576 customers in the San Fernando Valley and 20,572 were without power. By about 5:30 p.m., 15,000 customers remained without power, the utility said. By 8 p.m., that figure was cut down to 9,000.

A high wind advisory was in place for most of Ventura County and the San Fernando Valley through Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m., the National Weather Service said. Gusts as high as 75 mph were recorded, and they're expected as the winds continue overnight.

Power outages in the San Fernando Valley were first reported to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power at 3 a.m., a spokesman said. 

About 23,200 people in the Valley were without power as of just before 10:30 a.m., the spokesman said, with Van Nuys, Panorama City, Reseda and Studio City among the heavily affected areas. There was no initial timetable for the power to be restored.

A a quarter-mile stretch of power lines came down in San Bernardino County Saturday morning, officials said, one of dozens of incidents caused by powerful gusts expected to continue through Sunday afternoon.

Tree branches caught fire, the spokesman said. One person was initially reported to have been trapped or burned but first responders didn't find anyone in distress, and there were no other injuries.

A tree felled by high winds ruptured a main gas line at 5:35 a.m. in Rancho Cucamonga, causing 24 apartments to be evacuated, a city fire spokeswoman said.

Another tree crashed into house in North Hollywood just before 8 a.m., officials said; no one was injured though it brought power lines down as well. Sixteen wind-related calls came in to the Los Angeles City Fire Department overnight, according to a spokesman.

At 9:45 a.m., peak wind gusts reported on National Weather Service-affiliated backyard stations included 69 miles per hour on a mountain north of Malibu, 66 mph at Agoura Hills, 46 mph at Saugus and 44 mph at the Van Nuys Airport.

Other peak gusts in the mountains today included 73 mph at Mount Wilson, 58 mph at Mill Creek above Tujunga, and 58 mph at Boney Mountain, southwest of Westlake Village.

In San Diego County, high surf tides and strong winds prompted the rescue of a man who got too close to the edge at Sunset Cliffs. Lifeguards were called to the scene after the man got knocked into the water.

The high winds brought warmer temperatures, according to NBC4 meteorologist David Biggar.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Contact Us