By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Gusty winds continued blowing across parts of the Southland Wednesday, but forecasters said winds will continue easing.

Red flag warnings of critical fire danger that took effect Monday night expired at 10 p.m. Tuesday, thanks to the lessening winds and slowly rising humidity levels.

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“Northeast winds have decreased today (Wednesday) but gusty conditions will continue throughout the day,” according to the National Weather Service. “Gusts between 30 and 50 mph will be common across the mountains and valleys of Los Angeles and Ventura counties and the Ventura County coastal plain, while isolated gusts to 60 mph will occur over the windiest ridgetops.”

A car drives under a tree toppled by wind in Ventura, California on January 19, 2021.

Forecasters said the winds will continue to diminish into Thursday, giving way to storm systems that could bring very light rain into early next week.

“The first system will arrive late Friday night and move through the area Saturday,” according to the NWS. “This system looks weak with only light precipitation expected. Another system is expected to arrive Monday with light to moderate amounts of precipitation into Tuesday and low snow levels.”

On Tuesday, the NWS recorded gusts topping 86 mph in some mountain areas, including Warm Springs and the Magic Mountain Truck Trail in northern Los Angeles County.

Other parts of the Santa Clarita Valley were hit with gusts topping 40 and 50 mph, as were select areas of the San Fernando Valley. Winds were also recorded near 50 mph in the Antelope Valley.

In Moorpark, winds forced a tree to split in half, destroying the roof of a condominium.

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“It was almost like a hurricane. Even with our generator on you can still hear it,” resident Jill Madrid said.

Damage left behind by the powerful Santa Ana winds was visible Wednesday. Branches covered the sidewalk while massive trees toppled several homes in the Varsity Park South Condominiums.

“The poor people that live there,” Madrid said. “Because if that was me I would be going crazy.”

The damaging wind forced Southern California Edison to temporarily cut off power to thousands of customers in an effort to reduce the risk of fires caused by electrical equipment.

The heavy winds and dry brush kept fire crews busy with blazes breaking out in Sylmar, Ventura, San Dimas and Newhall, while thousands were left without power.

SoCal Edison was working to restore power as soon as possible and said it should be back on no later than 12 p.m. Thursday.

A wind advisory will be in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday for most of Los Angeles County, and a high wind warning will linger until 6 p.m. for Orange County coastal areas and until 10 p.m. for inland Orange County.

North to northeast winds of 25 to 40 mph were expected in the San Clarita Valley, with gusts up to 55 mph. Gusts were expected to reach 55 mph in the San Fernando Valley, 50 mph in metro Los Angeles, and 60 mph in the mountains.

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The winds should become weaker by nightfall, with those numbers dropping by 15 to 20 mph, forecasters said.