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. Roger Gunn was getting ready for the holidays at his home in Oak Park when a big tree fell on it.
“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. He’s not sure how much damage it did right now.
“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.
Even though not having power on Thanksgiving is a pain, Eisenhauer said that keeping people safe is their top priority. “We know it will be hard if we have to turn off the power, but safety comes first,” he said. During the Woolsey Fire, Gunn said, his family had to leave their home. His house didn’t get damaged, but he said that the wind makes everyone very worried.
“If you see or smell smoke right now, be careful because you know a fire can spread quickly when the wind is like this,” Gunn said. Eisenhauer said that about 30,000 people in L.A., Riverside, and Ventura counties could lose power if things don’t get better.
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