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Crews Restoring Power To Blacked Out Areas Before Winds Pick Up Again

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Southland residents got a break Sunday from the fierce Santa Ana winds that toppled trees and power lines last week but forecasters expect the wild weather to return Monday.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crews continued to work around the clock to restore service to nearly all the 57,000 houses and businesses that lost power during Wednesday’s major wind storm.

Winds were reported to be calm at nearly every measuring station Sunday morning, with the exception of slight, 10-mph easterly breezes in Acton.

However, Red Flag Warnings were scheduled to go up early Monday.

The National Weather Service said high winds will develop in mountains and canyons after midnight, and will spread to coastal areas as the sun rises Monday. Gusts reaching 70 mph can be expected in the mountainous areas that traditionally see the highest gusts.

NWS forecasters said the hard-hit areas of Northeast Los Angeles, Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley foothills will be spared the brunt of Monday’s winds.

The forecast of high winds combined with extremely dry conditions mean wildfire danger will remain high in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, at least through Monday.

Nearly 300 L.A. County firefighters will remain deployed in fire-prone areas in the northern and western mountains, firefighters said.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power had up to 138 crews working for four straight nights, and finished fixing 1,600 electrical problems at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Some 500 Southern California Edison crews, many again working through the night, had restored service to all but about 57,573 customer accounts still blacked out by 5:30 a.m. Sunday, Edison spokeswoman Lois Pitter Bruce said. The SCE outages were largely along the San Gabriel Valley foothills from Pasadena east, where “near hurricane force winds” caused flying debris to knock over power poles, the utility’s spokesman said.

The city of Arcadia saw the worst of it. Authorities said they expected Edison crews to fully restore power there by Monday. Wilderness Park, the Arcadia Public Library and the Los Angeles County Arboretum remain closed until further notice. The Westfield Santa Anita Mall was open, and Circus vargas had resumed shows under its big tent. Colorado Boulevard in Arcadia was one of several streets still closed by downed poles Sunday, according to police.

For more information about the windstorms, such as well as safety tips and information on how to respond when experiencing a power outage, visit www.ladwpnews.com

LADWP were asking that their customers affected by power outages contact them by phone at (800) 342-5397. Customers could also text “off@ladwp” to 84469 for help, and should also include their name, street address and neighborhood in the message.

»RELATED: Violent Winds Wreak Havoc On Southern California

(©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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