On a Windy Thanksgiving Day, Parts of Riverside County Lost Power
By late Friday morning, the strong Santa Ana winds in Southern California, which cut power and made wildfires more likely on Thanksgiving, are expected to calm down.
Wind advisories and red flag warnings that warned people in Southern California of a higher risk of wildfires slowed down Thanksgiving travel and made fire workers nervous, but they were expected to end late Friday morning.
Most of Southern California was expected to have less wind and cooler weather on Friday. Forecasters said that the risk of fires over the weekend could rise in places that are prone to them.
Forecasters warned fire-prone areas on Thursday about the warm weather, strong winds, and low humidity. As a safety measure, Southern California Edison turned off the power to thousands of customers in Riverside County early Thursday.
This affected parts of Hemet, Homeland, and two unincorporated communities. As of Thursday night, more than 4,200 people still didn’t have power, but the SCE website said that power was back on in Hemet by 5 p.m.
Late Thursday, officials in Los Angeles County thought about cutting off power to more than 7,500 people. Officials said that the main reasons SCE shut off power were the speed of the wind and the low humidity.
Travelers on vacation had to deal with windy roads. On the 91 Freeway near State College Boulevard in Anaheim, there were tumbleweeds.
The National Weather Service said that gusts of wind reached 76 mph in the mountains of Riverside County, 68 mph in the mountains of San Bernardino County, 43 mph in Orange County, 64 mph in the lowlands of Los Angeles County, and 73 mph in the mountains.
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Even though the risk was high, there were no big fires in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, or Riverside counties. The fire departments in Anaheim, Brea, and Fullerton quickly called a 3-alarm fire in a building in the 400 block of Carl Karcher Way in Anaheim. This gave them time to contain and put out the fire within an hour.
The strongest Santa Ana winds were expected to hit Orange County and the Inland Empire around noon on Thursday.
They were expected to last through Thursday night and start to die down early on Friday. The National Weather Service office in San Diego said that temperatures would drop by a few degrees over the weekend.
The Los Angeles Office of the National Weather Service says it will be warm and dry in Los Angeles County through Friday, but it will get cooler over the weekend.
Forecasters say that gusty winds and low humidity will make it hard to put out fires on Friday and Saturday.