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Strong Winds Lead To Power Outages, Trees Falling On Homes, Big Rig Crashes

JURUPA VALLEY (CBSLA) – Tens of thousands of people were without power across the Southland Tuesday night as strong winds blew through the area.

Powerful Santa Ana winds ripped through neighborhoods, making traffic lights go out and tipping over big rigs trucks on the 210 Freeway in Rancho Cucamonga and on the 15 Freeway in Fontana.

The roof of a condominium in Santa Clarita was split when a large tree was felled by the swirling Santa Ana winds Tuesday morning.

Large Tree Comes Down On Santa Clarita Condo, Splits Roof
A large tree fell onto a condo in Santa Clarita, Calif. Jan. 19, 2021. (CBSLA)

The 30-foot eucalyptus tree came crashing down sometime before 9:30 a.m. in the 25000 block of North Hogan Drive, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Landscapers who were working at the time heard the crash and called 911.

A woman and her son were inside the condo which took the brunt of the hit from the fallen tree, but neither was hurt, the building manager told CBSLA.

"The homeowner is fine. Luckily she got up early and did her daily routine and was starting to work in her living room, so thank goodness and thank God she's OK," building manager Robin Choppe said.

Building inspectors are on scene determining the extent of the damage. Crews were also on scene cutting up the tree and working to remove it.

The powerful Santa Ana winds are expected to continue to pummel the Southland through Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. A red flag warning is in effect until 10 p.m. Winds of up to 80 miles per hour are possible.

Southern California Edison had already shut off power to over 42,000 customers due to wildfire risks caused by downed trees and power lines, and tens of thousands more were at risk of seeing precautionary power shutoffs.

The Federal Aviation Administration Tuesday directed planes at Los Angeles International Airport to take off toward and land from the east instead of the west, due to the easterly Santa Ana winds blowing through the area.

Because it's safer for pilots to fly into the wind, the reversed configuration at the airport is done occasionally "when the wind direction shifts dramatically or swirls in the other direction," said airport spokesman, Heath Montgomery.

The reversal began about 6:30 a.m. and remained in effect after 7 p.m., Montgomery said. The eastern flight pattern happens less than 5 percent of the time annually at L.A.X.

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