FONTANA ( — Southland residents were greeted Sunday by gusty northeasterly winds that brought down branches and palm fronds at beaches, and reached tropical storm strength in some canyons.

Early in the day, sustained winds of 34 miles per hour were reported, with gusts to 59 mph, in Decker Canyon. A Mesonet weather station at a home near Saddle Peak, at 1,500 feet, reported a peak gust of 81 mph at 10:15 a.m.

Closer to the beach in Malibu, tumbleweeds, branches and palm fronds could be seen blowing across Pacific Coast Highway around 8 a.m.

Sunday afternoon, CBS2’s Greg Mills traveled to the Inland Empire, where gusty winds were also prevalent.

While electronic message boards warned drivers about the wind, it was a different sign that drove it home – the Palm Avenue/Kendall Drive exit sign snapped off along the  215 Freeway in San Bernardino.

Driving on the 15 Freeway at the bottom of the Cajon Pass was difficult for those in high-profile vehicles, and it wasn’t much easier in lower-profile vehicles.

Driver Marquis Hernandez was asked if the wind moves his big truck around.

“Oh yeah, it sure do,” he said. “Especially with all this weight in the back.”

Shelby Johnson was driving his truck to Las Vegas, and also experiencing issues with the wind.

“The wind’s been pretty crazy,” he said. “Had a couple of ladders fly out of the truck. Good thing I had ‘em tied down, but it’s been pretty crazy.”

The strong winds never let up in communities at the bottom of the Cajon Pass on Sunday – Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana and San Bernardino.

Meanwhile Albion OC from Tustin was playing the Claremont Stars in a soccer tournament game in San Bernardino in somewhat  less-then-ideal conditions.

“When we’re going against the wind it’s hard to get those balls in the air,” said Christina Smith. “Because they just fly back.”

It wasn’t certain if playing in the wind and cold was more difficult than watching in the wind and cold. Sisters Maria and Karina Nunez were huddled under hoodies, cheering on Karina’s daughter Arriana Lopez, who was playing in goal. Maria was asked about being bundled up.

“I had to,” she said. “It’s cold out here. It’s windy and cold.”

“It’s hard for us to walk so I can’t even imagine how hard it is to play,” added Karina.

Players also made it clear it’s not easy playing in windy weather. But Michaela Lafrez did find a silver lining.

“It keeps us cool, so it’s nice,” she said.

The National Weather Service was gearing up for more wind-borne difficulties early in the workweek, issuing Fire Weather Watches and Red Flag Warnings for much of the region beginning early Monday morning.

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