Forecasters said wind speeds were decreasing in some areas and there was a possibility that red flag warnings would be lifted by Friday morning in the coastal region and the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. But there was also the possibility that the warnings in the Santa Clarita Valley would be extended to Saturday or Sunday.
A wind warning for Catalina Island and the San Fernando Valley was canceled early Thursday afternoon, with wind speeds falling below the benchmarks.
The wind warnings for the Los Angeles County Mountains, Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, Los Angeles Coastal Area, and Santa Clarita Valley were expected to remain in effect through 6 a.m. Friday. The consultation will continue in the San Fernando Valley through Friday noon.
As is typical with major wind events, Edison warned in Southern California that the utility could impose public safety power cuts to cut power in areas with high winds to reduce the risk of forest fires from wind-damaged electrified power lines.
By Thursday afternoon, more than 15,500 SCE customers in Los Angeles County had to cut the power as a precaution, along with 4,100 in Orange County. The failures were mainly concentrated in mountain areas.
The blackouts came at a particularly awkward time for families trying to cook Thanksgiving dinner.
Local residents can visit SCE’s website at www.sce.com/wildfire/psps to see if potential blackouts are being considered in their area.
Orange County has a red flag for inland areas until 6:00 p.m. Friday. Forecasters said these areas could see gusts of 40 to 80 miles per hour that could occasionally reach 60 miles per hour in mountain canyons. Meanwhile, humidity could drop to around 5%, according to the National Weather Service.
The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management was on high alert over the wind incident and firefighters were deployed across the area to respond quickly to forest fires.
“These high winds in Santa Ana require the readiness of our entire community, including our world-class emergency services and emergency management organizations, which are on high alert starting today,” said OEM director Kevin McGowan.
“ Emergency services officials across Los Angeles County will stand ready to defend lives and property, ” McGowan said. “But we also need the cooperation of our entire community in order to remain safe as a region. You can do your part by staying tuned and ready to evacuate at any time, especially if you live in canyons, mountains or foothills. ”
Local residents were asked to consider the following emergency preparedness tips:
– Charge a cell phone and other devices with the ringtone on so you can receive and hear emergency alarms all night long. Keep working flashlights close at hand for all family members.
Prepare your family, pets, and home for an evacuation opportunity. Park your vehicle facing the street so you don’t have to reverse and in the driveway so you don’t get stuck behind an electrically operated garage door.
– Sign up for emergency notification systems. Find out which system is used by your local law enforcement agency for your neighborhood, workplace, and other places you or family members are often. Watch local news broadcasts and keep a battery powered radio handy so you can check the news if the power goes out.
For more preparation tips, visit ready.lacounty.gov, follow @ReadyLACounty, or call 211 to request resources and information.