- Associated Press - Friday, April 28, 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) - High winds raked much of Southern California on Friday - toppling trees, sending palm fronds crashing down and causing power outages.

Affected areas impacted included the Los Angeles region and ranged west through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Power outages affected more than 21,000 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers who lost electrical service overnight and several thousand Southern California Edison customers.

The north winds produced gusts well above 40 mph (64 kph) in many areas, and some locations had much higher blasts. A gust of 59 mph (95 kph) was registered in the Malibu Hills and one of 70 mph (113 kph) was recorded in the San Gabriel Mountains north of Los Angeles.

An early morning wind-driven fire in the Exposition Park area of Los Angeles spread to palm trees and rained embers on the neighborhood before firefighters brought it under control. A home and vehicles were significantly damaged.

The northern winds waned in the afternoon, but were expected to transform into strong Santa Ana winds later in the evening, according to the National Weather Service.

The Santa Anas, produced by pressure building over the interior of the western U.S. were predicted to impact a much larger area - including Southern California’s inland region and areas to the south through San Diego County.

The winds will lower humidity levels to a range of just 8 percent to 15 percent through Saturday, resulting in increased danger of grass fires.

The weather service said, however, that extreme fires were not expected.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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