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Gusty Winds Blamed in Death

Times Staff Writer

A fast-moving Pacific storm system, which could cause windy conditions for several more days, blanketed the Sierra Nevada with snow Saturday and dropped rain throughout the Los Angeles region, causing at least one death.

A 41-year-old woman died in Lancaster when gusty winds knocked over a tree and a large branch went through her car’s windshield, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Josie Woolum. The woman’s 16-year-old nephew suffered minor injuries, Woolum said.

Most of Southern California received just a fraction of an inch of precipitation, but enough to cause some traffic accidents.

Downtown Los Angeles recorded .02 inches of rain, said Bill Hoffer, a spokesman for the National Weather Service.

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“We’re pretty much done with the rain for now,” he said.

The weather service, however, issued an advisory warning of high winds in the mountains until early next week. Marine conditions off the coast also are expected to be choppy, Hoffer said.

The storm dropped 18 inches of snow in the Sierra Nevada and knocked down electrical lines in several Northern California counties, leaving more than 11,000 customers without power.

The mountains of Southern California also received snow.

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“It’s been a great kickoff to the season,” said Chris Riddle of Snow Summit and Big Bear Mountain resorts. “We’re making a lot of people happy, and we’re doing good business.”

The high winds could last until Tuesday, especially in the mountain passes, canyons and off the coast, where waves could rise as high as 12 feet, Hoffer said.

Today is expected to be partly cloudy in the Los Angeles area, with highs in the upper 50s to mid-60s. Monday should be sunnier, Hoffer said, though winds could increase. The remainder of the week should be clear to partly cloudy with only a slight breeze, he said.

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Associated Press contributed to this report.


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