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Powerful, Blustery Winds Down Trees, Wreak Havoc Across Southland

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Strong and gusty winds from a storm system pummeled the Southland Monday and early Tuesday morning, knocking down trees and kicking up a dust storm in the Antelope Valley which forced major road closures.

Powerful, Blustery Winds Down Trees, Wreak Havoc Across Southland
A tree came down on an SUV in Van Nuys, Calif., on Oct. 11, 2021. (CBSLA)

In the South Los Angeles neighborhood of Harvard Park Monday, the wind blew down two large trees, about one hour apart, at Denker Avenue and 59th Street. Fortunately, no homes were damaged and no one was hurt.

"As much as we call about them taking them down, they never come," said Jessie Atkins Tuesday, a frustrated resident. "They never respond.  The most they'll do is trim it back a little."

Surveillance video from a nearby home captured the moment the second tree came down. Several neighbors were outside surveying the damage from the first toppled tree when the second one came crashing down.

"It's a miracle, there was like 15 people right around it, and no one got hit," neighbor Derek Love told CBSLA Tuesday.

Five to seven cars parked along the street were crushed by the second tree, however. Work crews were on scene for hours Tuesday clearing the debris. Love told CBSLA that neighbors have complained to the city about the trees for years, but were informed the trees have historic value and couldn't be removed.

In Van Nuys, meanwhile, a tree toppled down into an SUV in the 14000 block of Erwin Street. There were no injuries.

In Lancaster, a massive dust storm shut down parts of the 138 and 14 highways for several hours Monday. The roadways were reopened Monday evening.

Big-rig driver David Rodriguez told CBSLA he was stranded for two hours.

Powerful, Blustery Winds Down Trees, Wreak Havoc Across Southland
A tree comes down onto a car in the Harvard Park area of South Los Angeles. Oct. 12, 2021. (CBSLA)

"Victorville to here, I can't see nothing," Rodriguez said.

He said that even after the dust storm settled, the conditions were still difficult.

"Moving from one side to another side, it was pretty terrible," he added.

Temperatures dropped low enough overnight to leave frost in the Antelope Valley and snow to Big Bear Lake. Marty Hall of Palmdale and his son Angel had already planned how they were planning to stay warm.

"The heater's already on," Hall said. "I think smart. I got it prepped up already. I got the enchiladas in the oven, beans and rice on the side. And I got two big old fluffy blankets, so we good."

Southern California Edison also considered precautionary public safety power shutoffs. As of early Tuesday morning, just over 10,100 SCE customers in L.A., Ventura and Kern counties were at risk of seeing their power shut off.

The storm system prompted wind warnings and advisories across the region that were mostly set to expire Tuesday morning. The winds are expected to decrease significantly as the storm system moves out.

"We're dealing with this very cold air that's still gripping Southern California, that was a blast of arctic air coming in from the Pacific Northwest," CBS2 Meteorologist Amber Lee said Tuesday. "But now its slowly moving out. So we're looking at the winds decreasing this morning."

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