Brief but powerful round of Santa Ana winds topple trees, power lines in Los Angeles

Associated Press

A brief but powerful round of Santa Ana winds with gusts topping 60 mph toppled trees and power lines in Southern California.

A Department of Water and Power dispatcher tells City News Service that several thousand customers are without electricity Saturday in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.

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Damage and power outages also are reported in Riverside County east of Los Angeles.

The National Weather Service says a gauge in the mountains above Sylmar registered a gust of 79 mph just before 5 a.m.

The winds kicked up Friday night and are expected to die down later Saturday.

Temperatures are expected in the upper 70s all weekend before a cooling trend starts Monday, when showers are expected.

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