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Strong winds whip through Southland, wreaking havoc on freeways

CBS Los Angeles 1/26/2023 KCAL-News Staff

High-powered winds whipped across the Southland on Thursday, wreaking havoc in local neighborhoods and on roadways in the form of toppled trees and overturned big rigs. 

The National Weather Service implemented a high wind warning across Southern California for most of Thursday, especially in the mountain areas, the Inland Empire, much of Orange County, the  Antelope Valley and Oxnard, with gusts up to 70 miles per hour expected in some areas. The advisory remains in effect until this evening.

Santa Ana winds blowing in excess of 50 mph in Eastvale caused a Costco big rig to overturn around 10:30 a.m. at a freeway interchange from State Route 60 to the I-15 Freeway, and in the same general area a short time later, a tractor-trailer jackknifed.

"We were all in traffic ... and the truck just started to lift up and fell over," said the man driving the truck at the time of the incident, who noted that the cargo area of the big rig was completely empty. "

To safely exit the truck, he had to kick out the front windshield. 

"It was definitely terrifying."

Just over the freeway interchange, a separate big rig was also toppled over by the winds, ironically at the transition between the 15 Freeway to SR-60. 

In Devore, a third big rig flipped onto its side, with the cab remaining on the street while the cargo area slid down the embankment of the road. 

Massive tree falls onto Woodland Hills duplex; causes power outage 02:02 © Provided by CBS Los Angeles Massive tree falls onto Woodland Hills duplex; causes power outage 02:02

Woodland Hills residents were also subject to the chaos brought on by the winds Thursday, as a massive eucalyptus tree toppled into an apartment duplex, knocking over three power poles and creating a power outage for more than 1,200 residents in the area. 

The tree fell across the street from Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Ybarra Road.

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