The mighty Santa Ana winds Pummel Southland, thousands without electricity for Thanksgiving

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LOS ANGELES (UKTN) – Powerful Santa Ana winds swept across much of Southland Wednesday night and into Thanksgiving morning – cutting off power to thousands of people and forcing them to scramble to change their vacation plans – chopping down trees and creating conditions conducive to forest fires.

High winds knocked down a tree on a house in North Hollywood, Calif. On November 25, 2021. (UKTN)

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To reduce the risk that wind-damaged electrified power lines could start a wildfire, Southern California Edison imposed public safety power cuts, cutting off power to thousands of customers.

As of 11:30 a.m. as of Thursday, 63,835 SCE customers were without power in the Southland. This included 20,322 in Riverside County, 15,556 in Los Angeles County, 14,987 in Ventura County, 8,843 in San Bernardino County and 4,127 in Orange County.

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Another 156,484 SCE clients are at risk of power outages.

Just before 1 a.m. Thursday, strong winds toppled a large tree over a house in North Hollywood near Fair Avenue and Califa Street. The tree entered the living room and the kitchen. He also hit the driveway fence of an adjacent house. No one was hurt.

“Watching TV, and the first thing we heard was an explosion in his power line… and then a second later I heard the tree, it looked like it was going to fall, and I heard a big crash and a boom, “said a neighbor of the damaged house.

In Malibu early Thursday morning, a tree fell on a power line at Kanan Dume Road and the Pacific Coast Highway, forcing a PCH lane to close as crews responded and made repairs.

Gusting Santa Ana winds coupled with extremely low humidity triggered a red flag warning until 6 p.m. Friday for much of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, interior Orange County and Inland. Empire.

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“Stay safe everyone, the winds are going to be with us here for a while. Be vigilant, be on your guard and call 911 if you see or smell a fire, ”Orange County fire manager Sean Doran told reporters as the winds blew around him.

Many fire agencies, including the LA County Fire Department, have pre-deployed response teams that will be ready to pounce if a fire breaks out.

Strong wind advisories are in place until 3 p.m. Thursday in the mountains of LA County, the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area and the Santa Clarita Valley, in the San Fernando Valley, and in the San Fernando Valley. San Gabriel and the coastal area, including downtown Los Angeles.

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The National Weather Service reported wind gusts of 77 mph at Deer Creek Canyon at 1:50 a.m., 76 mph at Boney Mountain, 73 mph at Escondido Canyon, 71 mph at Malibu Hills, and 67 mph at Burbank.

Forecasters said humidity levels would drop Thursday afternoon, falling as much as 5%, creating dry conditions that can dramatically increase the risk of dangerous wildfires.

“The combination (of) very high winds and very low relative humidity over a sufficient period of time will create red flag conditions for most of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, mainly from Wednesday to Thanksgiving,” according to the NWS.

“Although the winds are weaker on Friday, the very low humidity levels combined with sometimes gusty northeast winds will maintain these critical conditions until Friday afternoon.”

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(© Copyright 2021 UKTN Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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