Santa Ana winds cause power outages in some Southern California communities

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LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Another bout of Santa Ana winds pushed through Southern California on Thanksgiving, causing some communities to have their power cut due to concerns about possible wildfires.

In Oak Park, a giant tree crashed into 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 about cooking the turkey and then Armageddon,” Gunn said. “A tree comes crashing down on our house. Suddenly we’re not so much worried about the turkey 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 lawn.

Right now, he is unsure how much damage it has caused.

“Oh, I’m sure it’s going to be huge. It all depends on the bones of the house. We’ll be able to see that when an engineer comes. When you have a 20-ton tree fall on your house, it’s going to be stressful pretty much everything, I think,” he said.

The howling winds also forced Southern California Edison to take action.

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

“These are all power outages for public safety. It’s a measure we’re taking,” said David Eisenhauer, an Edison spokesman. “A last resort that we take to ensure the safety of our local community.”

He said they are beginning to prepare for the possibility of closures and are notifying residents if a high wind event is in the near future. Calmer conditions are expected on 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 it’s a hardship if we have to shut off the power, 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 is putting everyone on high alert.

“If you see smoke or smell smoke now, you have to be careful because you know a fire can cover a huge amount of ground in no time when it’s windy like this,” Gunn said.

Eisenhauer said about 30,000 people are under consideration for power outages in LA, Riverside and Ventura counties if conditions do not improve.

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