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97 mph! Santa Ana winds knock out power, down trees in LA

Mark J. Terrill / AP

Los Angeles City firefighters look over a eucalyptus tree that fell on a house and knocked down power lines, Wednesday.

 
Updated at 6:00 a.m. ET

Power outages and downed trees were reported in several regions of Los Angeles County Wednesday night due to strong winds, NBC LA reported.

A major change in the weather pattern is expected to bring powerful gusts of up to 85 miles per hour and possible hurricane force winds into the Los Angeles region for two days. 

The National Weather Service issued warnings that the high winds and low humidy could cause wildfires.

On Wednesday night, a wind gust of 97 mph was recorded at Whitaker Peak in Los Angeles County, according to the weather service.


Los Angeles International Airport was affected with power going in and out at the airport Wednesday.

Some containers and equipment that were unsecured rolled onto runways, LAX spokesperson Nancy Castles told KCAL9.

Castles was told by the Federal Aviation Administration that the some arrival flights would be delayed for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Some flights, including three international flights, were diverted to other airports.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said about 20 diverted flights were sent to Ontario International Airport in San Bernardino County Wednesday because of severe crosswinds and two runways were closed due to strewn debris.

Marina Peninsula and beach areas of Venice suffered power outages as well, some of which have since been restored.

Several areas incurred damage from fallen trees.

A large Eucalyptus tree fell on a power line and a house in Beverly Hills, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

In addition, traffic was backed up through most of Marina del Rey along westbound Admiralty Way because of downed trees.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for Wednesday night through to late Friday afternoon over Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Watch NBCLosAngeles.com forecast video

The wind was forecasted to be so powerful, it could be “the strongest offshore wind event we have seen in the past few years,” according to an advisory by the National Weather Service.

Fears of a possible brush fire guided the decision to suspend the Metro Green Line service between the Redondo Beach and El Segundo stations, according to Metro.

“Residents in the warning area are advised to take precautions now before the winds reach their peak,” the NWS said. “Close all windows and secure all outdoor objects such as lawn furniture.”

For the latest weather conditions, click here.

The Santa Ana winds are generated during cooler months when westward flowing currents reach fierce speeds as they squeeze through mountain ranges of Southern California, lowering humidity and making vegetation susceptible to fire.

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