California has been ravaged by violent winds, the sort of storm that happens once in a decade. Winds closed schools, downed trees and power lines, ravaged through neighborhoods and installed the emergency state in some communities. So far, Pasadena has been the most damaged by yesterday’s and last night’s violent winds.
California, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona and New Mexico are all under high wind warnings and advisories. Specialists expect the high winds to hit Oklahoma, Missouri and Indiana.
All in all, California was highly affected. 350,000 utility customers remained without electricity. Authorities worked through Wednesday and Thursday to restore power, but there were still 270,000 users without power yesterday evening.
In Los Angeles County the state of emergency was declared. The wind caused an hour long power outage at Los Angeles International Airport, causing 24 inbound commercial flights to divert to other airports.
Public school students in the area got to stay home as classes were canceled. Public schools in Pasadena and 11 other districts in San Gabriel Valley, northeast of Los Angeles, announced they were closed for the day.
The winds reached regions of the West, including Utah, where they left 55,000 residents without power. On top of that, 10 tractor-trailer trucks have been tipped over by winds north of Salt Lake City.
Pasadena was hit hard. Authorities say that 42 damaged houses and apartment units have been declared unsafe for habitation by early afternoon. The winds have even demolished a service station. Most problems have been caused by downed trees that hit homes, cars and power lines. According to official data, 40 people had to be evacuated from an apartment building after a tree damaged the roof.
Fire inspectors have red-tagged 42 units damaged by winds, and are now looking at some other 200 that must be evaluated. Pasadena Police Chief Philip Sanchez asked citizens to stay indoors.
The situation over in Pasadena is so serious that authorities declared a local emergency state, the first time since 2004. Residents of the town blame the city officials for not trimming down the old oak trees.
Meteorologists said that the Santa Ana storms are the result of a major difference in pressure between a strong, high-pressure system and a cold, low-pressure system. They expect the winds to lose their velocity through Friday.