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Strong Winds Cause Havoc Across Southland

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Gusty winds are causing trouble all across Southern California — downing trees, knocking out power lines and bringing high surf to local beaches.

The National Weather Service said high wind warnings are in effect until 9 p.m. for the local mountains of Ventura and Los Angeles counties toward San Bernardino and Riverside counties, as well as the high desert.

Current wind advisories along the coastal regions, as well as downtown, Orange County and portions of Riverside and San Bernardino counties are expected to expire at 9 p.m. as well.

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Strong, gusty winds of up to 45 mph are forecast and in some of those wind advisory areas, gusts could reach 35 mph.

The winds are expected to peak Sunday night with some of the strongest forecast along the Interstate 5 corridor north of Los Angeles and along the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway.

Drivers of high-profile vehicles should take precautions and pull off the road, if necessary. Residents in areas under high wind warnings should also be on guard against falling trees and downed power lines.

A utility pole snapped in the wind in Cypress Park, triggering a fire and forcing evacuations Sunday night. The live wires dangled down and ignited the flames. Witnesses heard several explosions inside a burning building and helped free a man trapped by the flames. The building housed a business that suffered considerable damage.

Weekend boaters should take note of the dangerous conditions with winds across local waters gusting up to gale force. Ocean temperatures will be in the low to mid 60s and the surf 4-7 feet, with strong rip currents.

» RELATED: Potentially Damaging Winds Expected Throughout Sunday Evening

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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