Strong winds portend damages

GLENDALE — A fast-moving rainstorm on Wednesday did not cause significant damage to soaked local hillsides, but officials said they were ready for a new form of danger as strong wind gusts were expected to hit the region and stay through Thursday.

The National Weather Service on Wednesday issued a high wind warning until noon Thursday, with sustained winds expected to hit 40 mph and gusts reaching up to 65 mph.

With the ground saturated by heavy rains, and powerful winds carrying the potential of causing severe damage — including downed trees, power lines and widespread power outages — the weather agency warned that the wind storm could be "one of the most widespread and strongest wind episode in the recent years."

Street maintenance, forestry and heavy machinery crews would on call around the clock to handle the potential damage, Public Works Director Steve Zurn said.

"If we get strong winds, we may have some problems," he said.

The National Weather Service also urged residents to stay indoors and secure doors and windows.

Last week's downpour caused several trees and limbs to topple throughout Glendale. But that was mostly due to the large amount of rain that fell, not wind.

A powerful wind storm in November uprooted trees in La Crescenta and caused power outages in some Northwest Glendale neighborhoods.

Los Angeles County Public Works officials joined their Glendale counterparts in reporting no major damage from the rain on Wednesday.

While the winds may topple trees, no major movement on soaked foothills was expected as a result of the strong gusts, said Bob Spencer, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

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