Powerful Winds Pummel SoCal, Downing Trees and Causing Damage: ‘Felt Like an Earthquake’

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Gusty Santa Ana winds wreaked havoc on Southern California overnight and will continue to be a threat for much of the day Tuesday.

Wind advisories will remain in place until 3 p.m. for Los Angeles and Ventura counties, where 40 to 50 mph winds are blowing through the coastal and valley areas with isolated gusts up to 65 mph in the mountains, according to the National Weather Service.

The strongest winds arrived overnight and continued into Tuesday morning.

Two vehicles were damaged after being struck by a large tree toppled by powerful winds in Santa Ana.

“When the tree fell you could hear the winds … It felt like an earthquake,” Khajlup Garcia said.

Another tree fell and struck a home in the 200 block of Starlight Crest Drive in La Cañada Flintridge.

Saturated grounds from recent rain storms may be contributing to the number of downed trees.

A tree landed on top of two vehicles in Santa Ana on Dec. 31, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)
A tree landed on top of two vehicles in Santa Ana on Dec. 31, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

Wind advisories for Orange County and the Inland Empire are set to expire at 10 a.m.

Drivers are being warned about strong crosswinds and downed limbs and branches on the roadways.

Forecasters are also calling for higher than average surf to build along the Central and Southern California coast through Thursday.

Los Angeles County surf will reach about 4 to 7 feet. Larger swells along the Central Coast could top out as high as 20 feet, according to the Weather Service.

Swimmers are being cautioned about dangerous rip currents associated with the increased surf.

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