Fierce Winds Cause Blackouts in West

Freak wind gusts have sparked brush fire, leveled buildings and killed power.
3:00 | 12/01/11

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Transcript for Fierce Winds Cause Blackouts in West
Now we're lucky these days to have dependable early warning systems -- hurricanes and tornadoes strike but not every violent weather pattern is so polite. About announcers announcing it's a rival. Tonight once again the Santa Ana winds those dry -- that blast out of the southwestern desert toward Pacific Ocean at this time year. They're making a surprise show of force with potentially destructive results. Here's ABC's David -- Raymond Chandler once wrote of the Santa Ana winds that they curl your hair make your nerves jump and your skin -- On nights like that he wrote every booze party ends in a fight. This latest Santa -- to wallop the West Coast was the worst in a dozen years we have. -- Crashing. Sound like an airplane hitting the house. And you can see the whole live the tree brought in. The gusts so strong. But for some wins could -- take on -- street number -- that hideouts Tuesday reporters had trouble standing their grounds. Did that -- it feels like a post apocalyptic war there's a what is it like trays down -- -- -- and probably a hundred trees down blocking entire street. -- block after block after block. -- just how did you make -- your turn got them back when an LAX the wind knocked out power to all nine terminals for an hour. Two runways had to be shut down because of debris. The wind blew out transformers. And cutting off power to more than 300000. People. Then sparks in the dry brush caught fire the big worry for fire crews that these small blazes could easily become while. Firefighters are stepping up all over -- -- California including our department over 200 extra firefighters additional hand and -- aircraft engines. -- will be ready. Today big rig trucks were tossed like toys on the side of windy freeways traffic signals were snapped like toothpicks. Huge trees toppled from the roots. I didn't know who was earthquake or. Water was too and also not heard this huge. I mean does that ground ship. Ran outside and I saw this. This eucalyptus tree crashed into a Beverly Hills mansion -- by Grey's Anatomy star Eric Dane and his wife actress Rebecca -- heart. On Sunset Boulevard to giant palm trees blocked the morning commute. And in Pasadena. The the kids seemed to enjoy climbing the giant tree that crashed into mommy's car. Mommy not so much folk concert titled. -- -- -- Still many downed trees that some people were practically trapped inside their homes we couldn't get out. We get -- like crawl through -- -- We thought it was gonna come to the house the storm and the power outage not only forced schools to close. Many shops banks and gas stations also shut down. The -- on -- shopping center tried hard to keep up the Christmas spirit and carols playing full blast. The top twenty feet at the tree was sheared off fully decorated. Nearby Christmas tree lots were little match for this -- Santa Ana -- It's seasonal but they are not. This. It was like a war zone here. The winds are squeezed. Through the canyons of -- California. Almost like up in a ripper we have a river in -- you have your rapids. Same thing happens with the -- in the city's jump up to 607080. Miles per hour last night. We had won the velocity at 97. Miles per hour. The storm still threatens five states is not over yet. And the damage already spreads all the way to northern California -- district could -- I'd do it. In Colorado when -- -- there were gusts higher than 100 miles an hour as the wind swept across the southwest. Plenty of people maybe the best of it. -- -- Chiquita found to staying at home another ukulele about it. One enterprising Californian even rigged up a key to his go -- and raced across an empty playing field. It was right about this our last night that the winds here in Pasadena were at their peak and three crashed into the top of that shell station right now as you can -- it is quiet here but elsewhere the winds are beginning to pick up as this region. Braces for round to.

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