LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Moderate to strong Santa Ana winds battering parts of the Los Angeles area Thursday were expected to calm by late afternoon.
According to the National Weather Service, some areas saw gusts as high as 85 mph Thursday morning, while some coastal areas were hit with 55 mph winds.READ MORE: 'It's Heartbreaking': ArcLight Cinemas, Pacific Theatres Closing Permanently Due To Pandemic Losses
“By late afternoon and this evening, the winds are expected to diminish quite a bit,” the NWS said.
In Riverside County, Albert Villalobos woke up to find the winds had knocked over a tree onto his truck. It caved in the roof and shattered the windshield, but he was still in good spirits Thursday.
“Actually at the end of the day, I’m glad it fell this way,” Villalobos said. “If it went the other way toward that house, it would have taken out most of the house.”
A high wind warning that was in effect until 3 p.m. across most of the region was lifted at noon and replaced with a less-serious wind advisory.
The advisory was in place until 6 p.m. for most of the Los Angeles area, but only until 3 p.m. in the coastal area, which stretches into downtown Los Angeles.
Forecasters said affected areas could still see winds of 20 to 35 mph Thursday afternoon, with gusts up to 55 mph.
“Gusty winds will blow around unsecured objects and make driving difficult, especially for drivers of high-profile vehicles,” according to the NWS. “Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.”
Forecasters also warned that the 5 and 14 freeways could be particularly affected, along with mountain roads such as Malibu Canyon, Topanga and Decker Canyon, as well as multiple freeways in the San Fernando Valley.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department advised residents to download an evacuation plan here, although though no fire warnings were issued.
Some residents were surprised that power wasn’t turned off as a precaution because the winds were so strong.
“I was woken up around two o’clock this morning from the banging of all kinds of things on the back wall,” said Canyon Country resident Lisa Jones.READ MORE: 'We Are Seeing Our Economy Come Back To Life': Study Shows That Consumer Confidence In OC Is On The Rise As Residents Brace For Light At The End Of The Tunnel
Like many in Santa Clarita, Jones didn’t sleep very well overnight because of the loud and powerful winds.
“Then I thought, when are they going to turn off the power? Am I going to get a notice like in December all those multiple times? But nothing came,” she said.
Jones even warned her boss this morning that she may not be able to get online because she anticipated losing power.
“It’s extremely frustrating as to what are their criteria for turning off the power in December vs ow because it seems to me these winds are stronger,” she said.
SoCal Edison says Public Safety Power Shutoffs are implemented when extreme weather conditions, like the wind, may cause a power line to fall and spark a wildfire.
Edison said their decision is made by many factors including:
- Fuel condition
- Vegetation moisture
- Wind speeds
- Red flag warnings
- And Impacts it would have to essential services
Early this morning in the Inland Empire fierce winds caused major problems for big rig drivers. A number of big rigs flipped in the area where the 210 and 15 Freeway meet as well as further north in the Cajon Pass.
“All of a sudden I was driving and it just picked it up and it was on its side,” said truck driver Chad Nabor.
The wind was also taking a toll on people who suffer from allergies.
Dr. Jordan Michelena works in urgent care at Henry Mayo Hospital. He says the wind is blowing in more patients with allergy symptoms, who are also wanting to be tested for COVID.
“Some people will have itchy eyes, itchy nose, sneezing, running eyes, a little sore throat even. Usually, those don’t present with fever, they don’t present with body aches, the loss of taste or smell necessarily. Those are more classic for COVID and flu,” Michelena said.
Michelena says if you suffer from allergies, prepare for the extreme wind and weather with over-the-counter or prescription medicines. He said if there’s any question about your symptoms ”then definitely come in and get tested because you want to know the status rather than guessing at it.”MORE NEWS: 2 Men Hospitalized After Large Explosion At Valley Glen Home, Investigation Ongoing
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)