Strong winds down trees, break branches, spark rock slides in SCV

Light pole toppled by the wind in Canyon Country, courtesy photo by Janine Cooper Ayres.
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It was a blustery start to the week with trees down, branches broken, a light pole knocked over, rocks shaken loose and sent onto roadways, but fortunately in light of a Red Flag Warning about fire conditions – no brush fires.

A high wind warning was issued Monday for the Santa Clarita Valley as strong Santa Ana winds swept through the valleys.

Officials with the National Weather Service on Monday issued a high wind warning which is expected to remain in effect throughout the day.

“The strongest winds will be focused in the mountains and foothills of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Winds are expected to diminish some late this afternoon and evening hours,” the warning posted by the National Weather Service reads.

Areas most affected include the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area in the SCV and communities including, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Newbury Park, Newhall, and Valencia.

City public work crews reported a few trees felled by strong winds on Glasser Avenue, Poppy Meadows Street and, in Newhall, at 5th Street and Walnut Street.

Tree limbs came down in other areas of Santa Clarita, including: Terri Drive, Four Oaks Street, Delight Street, Cedarcreek Street, Cindy Court and Kingcrest Drive, according to City of Santa Clarita spokeswoman Carrie Lujan.

Tree limbs also came down as a result of the wind at the intersections of Golden Valley Road at Ermine Street and on McBean Parkway at Avenue Scott.

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station responded to a downed light pole – believed toppled by the wind – near the intersection of Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway Monday morning.

As well, rocks as a result of rock slides ended up on Soledad Canyon Road between mile marker 17 and Agua Dulce Road. Work crews from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works were called to remove the debris.

The biggest tree downed by the wind, according to a sergeant at the SCV Sheriff’s Station, fell across Bouquet Canyon Road shortly after 2 p.m., near the Big Oaks Lodge.

A Red Flag Warning concerned the increased threat of brush fire due to high winds and low humidity was also issued Monday .

Morning commuters notified the California Highway Patrol about road signs coming loose over the northbound lanes of Interstate 5.

“What we have right now are reports that the signs and loose,” CHP Officer Eric Preissman told The Signal Monday morning.

“Caltrans is on route to make the repairs,” he said.

Officials with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station posted a warning about the high winds on social media Monday morning.

Their post reads: “A red flag warning now in effect from 3 a.m. Monday to 10 a.m. Tuesday for strong northeast winds and very low relative humidity for the SCV.

“If fire ignition occurs, there will be the potential for rapid spread of wildfire and extreme fire behavior that
would lead to a threat to life and property,” the Sheriff’s post reads.

Northeast winds 25 to 40 miles per hour, with damaging gusts to 60 mph, were expected by weather officials to develop by daybreak Monday and continue throughout the day.

They warn: “Winds this strong may down trees and power lines, causing property damage or power outages. Cross winds can make driving difficult, especially for drivers of high profile vehicles and vehicles towing trailers. This includes the 5, 23, 101, 118, 14, and 126 freeways, as well as the canyon roads through the Santa Monica Mountains.

A High Wind Warning means damaging high winds of 58 mph or greater are likely or imminent.

SCV residents are advised to secure all loose outdoor furniture in advance of the onset of strong winds.

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on Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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