Strong Winds Knock Out Power for Thousands - NBC Southern California

Strong Winds Knock Out Power for Thousands

A day of strong winds knock down power poles and trees all over Southern California, leaving havoc and darkness in its wake



    Thousands of power outages in the Inland Empire became painfully real for one family in Ontario on Thursday night.

    Their road trip to Popeye's Chicken ended with a jarring two-car crash at the corner of Mission and Vine, where traffic signals were dark and someone failed to yield.

    "We made our stop here. Coming here straight on this car didn't even stop, for the light. It just went through. By the time we knew it, we couldn't see nothing, really. We were at our stop, and there's no lights," said one of the drivers, Yvette Armendariz.

    "Because the lights was out, we didn't see them, and we actually just drove straight into them. At the last minute we saw them," said the other driver, Doug Matthews.

    The minor injury accident was among countless problems caused by gusting winds in excess of 50 miles an hour.

    Many utility poles were knocked offline, sending many Southern California Edison repair teams crisscrossing across the hardest-hit Inland Empire communities of Ontario Upland and Rialto.

    "The gusty winds caused our pole to split, and unfortunately the transformer on that pole is coming down. We're going to have to replace the pole and replace the transformer on that pole. It's going to take some time," according to Edison Regional Manager Viet Tran.

    Other Ontario families fired up their own generators to keep frozen foods cold, while others scratched their heads about how the wind downed massive trees, altering the landscape but fortunately injuring no one.

    "We were sleeping, so I came out to see my kids, and as I was looking through the door, I heard crackling, and then we heard this loud noise when it fell down," said Vanessa Sandoval.