Santa Ana winds cause power outages in some Southern California communities


Another round of Santa Ana winds pushed through Southern California on Thanksgiving, causing some communities to have their power shut off amid concerns of possible wildfires.

In Oak Park, a giant tree crashed onto Roger Gunn's home as he was getting ready for the holiday festivities.

"I was actually cleaning up a couple of limbs that had fallen in the backyard and moments later we're talking cooking the turkey and then Armageddon," Gunn said. "A tree comes crashing down on our house. All of a sudden not worried so much about the turkey as much as how we're going to get this tree off."

Gunn said crews spent the day carefully getting the tree out of his home and front lawn.

Right now, he's unsure of just how much damage it caused.

"Oh I'm sure it's going to be enormous. It all depends on the bones of the house. We're going to be able to see that when an engineer comes. When you have a 20-ton tree drop on your house it's going to stress pretty much everything I think," he said.

Also, the howling wind forced Southern California Edison to take action.

The power company cut power to communities in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino and Riverside counties throughout the day due to the extreme fire danger.

"These are all public safety power shutoffs. It's a measure we take," said David Eisenhauer, an Edison spokesperson. "A measure of last resort that we take to ensure the safety of our communities."

He said they start to prepare for the possibility of shutoffs and notify residents if a high wind event is in the near future. Calmer conditions are expected Friday as a red flag warning is set to expire at 11 a.m.

While spending Thanksgiving without power is an inconvenience, Eisenhauer said keeping people safe is their top priority.

"We understand that's a hardship if we do have to shut the power off but safety is paramount," he said.

Gunn said his family was forced to evacuate during the Woolsey Fire.

His home was spared but he said the wind puts everyone on high alert.

"If you see smoke or smell smoke now, it's look out because you know that a fire can cover tremendous ground in no time when it's blowing like this," Gunn said.

Eisenhauer said about 30,000 people are under consideration for power outages in L.A., Riverside and Ventura counties if conditions don't improve.

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