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Large Tree Falls in San Jose as Gusty Winds Whip Through Bay Area Hills

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- Gusting winds in the South Bay may have contributed to a massive tree crashing down in a San Jose neighborhood Friday, crushing cars and blocking the entire road.

The tree fell Friday morning across north 17th Street near the intersection of East Julian, close to San Jose High School. It damaged two cars.

PG&E crews were also on the scene.

Strong off-shore winds with gusts topping 50 mph started whipping through the San Francisco Bay Area hills early Friday, raising the threat of toppled trees, falling branches and downed power lines.

The National Weather Service issued a high winds warning effective until 11 a.m. Saturday for the Wine Country hill communities of Angwin, Lagunitas-Forest Knolls and Woodacre.

"Northeast winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 70 mph expected," the weather service said. "From 7 a.m. this morning to 11 a.m. Saturday with the strongest winds tonight into Saturday morning...Damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines. Power outages are likely to occur."

The weather service issued a high wind advisory for the rest of the Bay Area, warning "gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and power outages may occur."

Fortunately, the extreme drought conditions that had held the region in its grip have eased so a Red Flag Fire Warning was not issued.

"Luckily we don't have fire weather concerns in NorCal due to the fall and early winter rains," forecasters said.

So the threat was to power lines and trees weakened during the months of extreme drought.

"Now is the time to take action to secure loose objects and plan accordingly for downed trees blocking egress or prolonged power outages," the weather service said. "Winds wont be as widespread for the Bay Area but easterly flow off Mt Diablo suggests some strong wind potential for the Berkeley hills and Santa Cruz mountains overnight into early Saturday."

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