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Powerful Santa Ana winds overturn trucks; lanes of I-15 closed in Inland Empire

February 2, 2011 |  7:08 am

Powerful Santa Ana winds were causing major problems in the Inland Empire on Wednesday morning, toppling big rigs and causing officials to close a portion of two freeways.

The California Highway Patrol reported that lanes of the Interstate 15 at Interstate 10 were closed because of overturned trucks.

"Big rig drivers: Take a coffee break and postpone your travels through Inland Empire at this time," the CHP said on its website. "Strong winds overturning trucks."

The National Weather Service predicts unusually heavy winds for February due to the Santa Ana conditions, with gusts in some areas reaching 70 to 80 mph.

The worst winds were forecast for canyon and mountain areas of the Inland Empire and Orange County. But wind gusts are expected to also be strong in parts of L.A. County.

The weather service recorded gusts of 66 mph in the Malibu Hills overnight, and slightly stronger winds are forecast for the San Gabriel Mountains.

The winds are supposed to last at least though the afternoon.

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--Shelby Grad

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