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3,000 without power as Southern California braces for wind

December 16, 2011 |  7:38 am

 More than 3,000 Southern California customers were without power Friday after a short-lived but strong thunderstorm hit the region and residents braced for a day of high winds.

Southern California Edison estimated that 3,196 customers did not have electricity early Friday morning, mainly in the San Gabriel Valley. At the height of the storm more than 20,000 lost power, said Vanessa McGrady, a spokeswoman for the utility.

A high-wind warning issued by the National Weather Service remains in effect until Saturday afternoon in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

The National Weather Service said potentially strong, damaging winds are expected to hit the area Friday, ranging from 25 mph to 45 mph with gusts around 70 mph.

Parts of the mountains have already recorded gusts of 78 mph, said David Sweet, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

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