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Metro Gold Line partially reopened after canopy blows onto power lines [Updated]

October 28, 2009 |  2:18 pm

[Updated at 3:15 p.m.: MTA spokesman Luis Inzunza says the Gold Line is now operating on a single track, and officials expect to reopen the second track soon. Commuters this afternoon should expect 10 to 15 minute delays, he said.]

The Metro Gold Line was stopped in both directions after high winds blew a large canopy onto power lines above the train tracks in Highland Park, an official said.

No injuries have been reported, said Rich Matheney, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the Gold Line that runs from downtown L.A. to Pasadena, was not immediately available for comment.

The flying canopy was another example of the havoc caused by winds across Southern California, where officials have issued a fire danger warning in hillside areas because of gusts and dry conditions.

The fire warning will last through the afternoon because of the northeasterly winds, according to the National Weather Service. No fires have been reported today, and firefighters hope cool temperatures and humidity will prevent any blazes from spreading.

There was a small fire Tuesday near the Getty Center, but it was quickly extinguished. Winds of 20 to 30 mph are expected across the Southland, but some areas could still experience gusts of up to 70 mph. A wind advisory this morning was in effect throughout the region until 11 a.m., said Stewart Seto, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Air quality in wildfire-ravaged areas of the San Gabriel Valley was expected to reach unhealthy levels for sensitive people because of the dust and ash whipped up by the winds, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

A warming trend is expected to develop this weekend as the cold front moves out of the area tonight and high pressure builds, Seto said. Temperatures this weekend are expected to reach the 80s.

“It’s going to be nice, warm and mostly clear,” Seto said.

-- Ruben Vives and Baxter Holmes