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High winds: Massive cleanup effort begins as gusts weaken

December 2, 2011 |  6:33 am

Click here to see more photos.More than 200,000 Southland residents were without power early Friday and numerous school districts remained closed as crews worked to clean up broken windows, downed trees and scattered debris.

Southern California got a welcome reprieve from the punishing winds of up to 100 mph Thursday that ripped out hundreds of trees and littered streets and yards, particularly across the San Gabriel Valley.

"The winds are definitely a lot weaker,” said Todd Hall, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

PHOTOS: Santa Ana winds | Submit your photos

As of 6 a.m. Friday, 146,000 Southern California Edison customers were without power, down from 172,000 at midnight, the utility reported on Twitter. An additional 94,000 L.A. Department of Water and Power customers were without electricity, the utility tweeted about 2 a.m.

Winds did reach above 50 mph in some mountain areas, such as east of Lake Castaic, said Hall. Moreover, strong gusts are expected to pick up as the sun rises and into the morning, then fade into the afternoon, he said.

Another wind system may push through Friday night into Saturday, he said. The weekend forecast calls for some strong winds developing between Saturday night and Sunday morning, as well, especially through the San Gabriel Mountains, along Highway 14 and across the Santa Monica Mountains, Hall said.

“They’ll stay strong through Sunday,” he said, but “I don’t think it’ll be anything of the magnitude of what we saw Wednesday night and Thursday morning.”

INTERACTIVE GRAPHIC: How Santa Ana winds develop

In Pasadena, where officials had declared a state of emergency because of wind, schools remained closed Friday, but city libraries and parks were scheduled to reopen, with the exception of Victory Park, according to a statement from City Manager Michael Beck.

“We are thankful that as serious as the storm was, and as much damage as it left in its wake, there was no loss of life,” Beck said.

The city remains under a wind advisory, Hall said, “which means nuisance winds that could cause some problems for people driving on roads.”

Some 1,500 customers of Pasadena Water and Power were without power late Thursday, though “I know that number is a lot lower this morning,” said Pasadena Police Lt. Rodney Wallace. Utility officials were not available early Friday.

Garbage pickup missed Thursday will be picked up on Saturday, according to a city statement.

Among the school districts to be closed Friday are Alhambra, Arcadia, Azusa, Monrovia, South Pasadena and Temple City.


Second round of high winds still expected, forecasters say

Santa Ana winds: Rare weather system produced powerful gusts

Santa Ana winds: Pasadena neighborhood boxed in by fallen trees

-- Sam Quinones


Photo: Tree trimmer Alfredo Cardona carefully scrambles up the broken trunk of a sycamore that fell across the roof of a two-story home that had just closed escrow with an asking price of $2.2 million on San Pasqual Street in Pasadena.Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times