Santa Ana winds: Griffith Park ordered closed
L.A.'s top-ranking park official ordered the temporary closure of Griffith Park on Thursday, saying the combination of downed trees, fallen limbs and power outages from Wednesday night's wind storm pose a serious fire danger.
The overnight storm created "extreme" damage in L.A.’s network of more than 400 parks, knocking down and seriously damaging hundreds of trees, said Jon Kirk Mukri, general manager for the Department of Recreation and Parks.
With a red-flag warning in effect for hillside areas, the danger of fire is considered especially serious in Griffith Park, the city's largest.
Figures are not yet available for the number of street trees felled by the storm in Los Angeles. But Andrea Alarcon, president of the Board of Public Works, said city officials had received 120 calls of fallen street trees and limbs by 8 a.m. Thursday
"We expect to receive more calls since people can now see the damage in the daylight," she said.
The fierce windstorms that battered Southern California closed scores of schools, caused widespread damage and left more than 200,000 homes without power.
Another round of strong winds was expected Thursday afternoon, producing gusts of 60 to 80 mph, according to the National Weather Service. The peak gust was 97 mph, reported at Whitaker Peak on Wednesday night. On Thursday morning, the highest recorded gusts were also at Whitaker Peak at 61 mph.
Pasadena, Sierra Madre and other foothill communities of the San Gabriel Valley were the hardest hit by windstorm.
-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall
Photo: A Griffith Park trail overlooking Los Angeles. The park was closed temporarily Thursday after fierce windstorms Wednesday night. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times