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Cold, Blustery Weather Toppling Trees, Downing Power Lines

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Thousands of residents were without power Tuesday night as gusty winds raked the Southland.

About 2,000 L.A. Department of Water and Power customers in South Los Angeles lost power around 6:20 p.m. and were still without service hours later as temperatures dropped, said Carol Tucker of the DWP.

Another 600 customers in Encino lost power around 5 p.m. All but 130 had service restored later in the evening.

Southern California Edison reported that outages affected more than 17,000 customers in its service areas from Anaheim to the Los Angeles-Ventura county line. The hardest-hit area was the San Gabriel Valley, particularly in San Gabriel, Sierra Madre, Arcadia and Monrovia, according to Mashi Nyssen of SCE. Parts of Inglewood, Huntington Beach and Quail Valley were also affected.

Nyssen said all of the outages were wind-related.

“We had a pretty cold front come through today and we’re expecting the strong winds this evening until about 2 a.m.,” said Scott Sukup, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. The storm, coming out of the Gulf of Alaska, produced more cold and wind gusts than rain, Sukup said.

Light rain fell in the morning, making roadways dangerously slippery, before the storm began drifting out of the region.

Winds reached 51 mph in Saugus, 49 mph in the Newhall Pass, 48 mph in the Malibu Hills and 45 mph in Beverly Hills.

The winds caused a tree to topple onto a pickup truck in Downtown L.A. No one was injured.

Some business owners said the cold, blustery weather was costing them their holiday sales because many people were choosing to stay home where it’s warm.

Granada Hills resident Nick Perrin said he hopes his holiday decorations stay up through the night.

“We’re keeping our prayers together and hoping that the winds stay away,” Perrin said.

The snow level will drop to around 3,000 feet Tuesday night, and snow showers are possible over The Grapevine.

The wind gusts and moisture will have disappeared by Wednesday and the weather will be clear and blue although rather crisp, Sukup said.

A new storm, also from the Gulf of Alaska, is expected to hit by the weekend, Sukup said.

Between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m., about 105 accidents were reported on Los Angeles County roadways patrolled by the California Highway Patrol, compared with about 31 accidents in the same areas a week ago, when it did not rain, the CHP reported.

Along with 65-mph gusts, sustained northwest winds of between 25 and 40 mph will sweep through the San Gabriels until early Wednesday, according to NWS forecasters.

A wind advisory, indicating that winds of 35 mph or greater are expected, will be in effect until 7 a.m. Wednesday for the Los Angeles County coast, including downtown Los Angeles, Catalina Island and the Los Angeles County mountains excluding the Santa Monica Range.

A wind advisory will be in effect until 2 p.m. Wednesday in the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita valleys and Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area.

A high surf advisory will be in effect until 4 a.m. Wednesday. The National Weather Service forecasts breakers of between 10 and 14 feet, along with “very strong rip currents” and “some beach erosion.”

Highs Tuesday reached 63 degrees in downtown Los Angeles and Hawthorne, 62 at Los Angeles International Airport and in San Gabriel, 61 in Chatsworth and Torrance, 60 in Burbank, Redondo Beach and the Long Beach Airport, 59 in Pomona, 57 in Van Nuys, 56 in Northridge, 50 in Acton, Lancaster and Palmdale and 40 at Mount Wilson.

Wednesday’s forecast highs include 60 in downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach and at Los Angeles International Airport, 58 in Pasadena, San Gabriel and Woodland Hills, 57 in Burbank, 53 in Saugus, 48 in Lancaster and Palmdale and 38 at Mount Wilson.

(©2012 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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