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Wind gusts topping 90 mph topple trees in L.A. area, blocking roads; snow closes I-15 [Updated]

December 30, 2010 |  6:46 am

Strong Winds Topple Trees Across Southern California

Winds gusts that topped 90 mph battered parts of Southern California overnight, downing trees that blocked numerous roads.

According to the National Weather Service, some mountaintops recorded hurricane-strength winds, and officials said the powerful gusts will continue into Thursday morning.

The snow level plunged to 2,000 feet, closing Interstate 15 and causing hazardous conditions on Interstate 5. Temperatures fell to 49 degrees in downtown L.A. and 19 degrees at Mt. Wilson.

“It’s definitely very windy out there, and it looks like it’s going to continue through [Thursday] morning,” said Rich Thompson, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

The California Highway Patrol’s traffic website reported toppled trees throughout Los Angeles County, including along the 710 Freeway, and the interchanges of the 110 and 101, and 5 and 101 freeways.

Downed power lines have left thousands without power.

[Updated at 7:15 a.m.: The CHP reported that black ice was developing on the Interstate 5 near the Grapevine and that heavy winds were reported on sections of the 118 Freeway. Route 138 in the Antelope Valley was closed due to a big-rig accident.

Officials were also warning of high surf due to the windy conditions.]

ALSO:

Woman struck, killed by Amtrak train

Widespread power outages from high winds

Record rains leave hillsides perilously soaked

-- Hector Becerra and Shelby Grad

Photo: Downed tree in Los Angeles. Credit: KTLA News

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