City News Service
More Santa Ana winds began blowing across the Southland Thursday, with gusty conditions expected to continue into Friday, prompting warnings of possibly hazardous driving conditions and the potential for downed tree limbs and blowing debris.
A wind advisory will be in effect through 4 p.m. Friday for the Los Angeles County Mountains, Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys, the Santa Monica Mountains and the coastal area including downtown.
According to the National Weather Service, winds were gusting at 25-35 mph in some areas by Thursday afternoon, with some traditionally windy areas — such as the Magic Mountain Truck Trail — seeing gusts of 40 to 50 mph. The strongest winds of the Santa Ana event, however, are not expected until Friday morning.
Although the wind advisories are scheduled to expire at 4 p.m. Friday, forecasters warned that current conditions show the potential for winds continuing into Saturday morning.
“Therefore may need to extend the advisories, but will wait until (Friday) to make that call,” according to the NWS.
Forecasters said earlier that mountain and higher valley areas are likely to have the strongest winds, gusting up to 55 mph, while other locations will have winds of 30-50 mph.
In Orange County, a wind advisory will be in effect until 10 p.m. Friday for inland areas and the Santa Ana Mountains and foothills. Forecasters said the areas could see winds of 15 mph to 25 mph, with gusts of 45 to 55 mph.
Forecasters urged motorists in all advisory areas to use extra caution when driving, “especially if operating a high-profile vehicle.”
“Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects,” according to the NWS. “Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.”
Southern California Edison crews will be on alert during the wind event, and the utility reminded customers that outage information is available on its website at SCE.com and on Facebook and Twitter. SCE noted that the winds are not expected to be as severe as last week’s Santa Ana event, which saw gusts of up to 90 mph in some mountain and foothill areas, knocking down trees that brought down power lines.
The utility recommended that residents in wind-prone areas take precautions to prepare for possible outages, including:
— check emergency supplies, such as a battery-operated radio, flashlight and batteries;
— secure temporary structures, backyard furniture, tents or other items that can be blown away;
— avoid downed power lines;
— don’t try to remove broken tree limbs or branches that may have touched power lines;
— use caution when driving and treat intersections with inoperable traffic signals as four-way stops;
— use flashlights instead of candles in an outage.
A full list of safety tips is available at sce.com/safety-.
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