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Caution urged during strong winds; no outages reported

December 22, 2011 |  7:54 am

 Southern California Edison officials said Thursday that strong winds overnight had not caused any power outages, but they remained cautious because more powerful gusts may be on the way.

“Just cross our fingers,” said utility spokesman David Song.

Edison warned customers of the continued high winds and told residents to take precautions and to stay away from any power lines should they fall.

The National Weather Service said winds could reach 65 mph in mountain areas and 40 mph in the valleys through Friday afternoon.

A high-wind warning for large swaths of those areas, as well as for cities like Anaheim and Oxnard, was issued about 4 a.m. Thursday and would remain in effect until 2 p.m. Friday, said weather specialist Bonnie Bartling.

“Strong north to northeast winds will develop this morning,” the weather service advised Thursday on its website. “The strongest winds will affect the Ventura and Los Angeles County mountains,” including the Santa Monica Mountains and the Santa Clarita Valley.

Forecasters said the Santa Ana winds will increase through Thursday morning, decrease slightly in the afternoon and evening and pick back up again Friday morning.

The weather service said the winds are the result of a high-pressure system building over the Great Basin and that sustained winds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or higher can lead to property damage.

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