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Powerful SoCal Santa Ana winds knocking over big rigs, trees and power lines

By Leticia Juarez,


Powerful Santa Ana winds are blowing through Southern California on Thursday, overturning big rigs and knocking down trees and power lines.

Drivers of high-profile vehicles heading through the Inland Empire were urged to drive slowly or perhaps delay their trips if possible, after several big rig overturns were reported.

The northbound 215 Freeway was shut down just after 8 a.m. when a big rig overturned in the southbound lanes.

And another big rig tumbled over later in the day coming off the northbound 15 onto the southbound lanes of the 215.

Experts say the big rigs most at risk are those that are returning empty after making deliveries. The high profile and lighter weight makes them more prone to tipping over.

Truck drivers say these kinds of conditions do scare them.

Keith Carter of Victorville said he was staying away from his big rig Thursday.

"Your heart is beating so fast, and you're praying, you're so scared," Carter said. "You're like, Oh God, please! And you slow down to 30 or 45 miles per hour."

And other drivers say they try to keep away from the tractor trailers that are out there braving the dangerous conditions.

"Oh my goodness, I'm staying as far away from big rigs as possible," said Sandra Leon of San Bernardino. "They scare me."

Massive dust clouds were also being kicked up by the wind, so people with allergies are being advised to take precautions.

High wind warnings were in place for parts of the Inland Empire until 10 p.m. Thursday, with gusts up to 60 mph expected, and even 75 mph in the foothills.

"I didn't really expect it to be this windy today," said CHP Officer Ivan Sandoval.

"We're telling our drivers out there, be considerate of the wind. This (overturned) trailer was empty. If you're traveling, be really cautions because you're gonna have the possibility of being overturned."

Powerful Santa Ana winds knocked a massive tree onto a home in Woodland Hills on Topanga Canyon. No injuries were reported.

In Woodland Hills, the winds knocked down a massive tree, partially coming down on a home.

The home is located in the 4800 block of N. Topanga Canyon. No injuries were reported but firefighters were calling in inspectors to check the structural integrity of the home and determine if it may have to be red or yellow-tagged.

That section of Topanga Canyon was blocked off as firefighters responded.

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