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La Cañada copes with damage, outages after windstorm gusts clocked at 47 mph

High winds reaching 47 mph blew through La Cañada Flintridge and neighboring foothill communities early Monday morning, downing trees, damaging properties and causing more than 3,800 businesses and households to be without power for most of the day, officials reported.

La Cañada High School lost power shortly before noon, but students remained on campus throughout the school day, administrators said. Meanwhile, La Cañada City Hall was without Internet service as Public Works employees worked to assess damages in town.

Southern California Edison spokeswoman Mary Ann Milbourn said crews were responding to five outages in La Cañada affecting a total of 3,821 customers.

“We’ve had so many outages today across our territory, it’s becoming a blur,” the spokeswoman said, adding that 69,000 SCE customers were without power.


Though Milbourn could not say when power would be restored, she assured local residents linesmen were steadily being dispatched throughout Los Angeles County, where the National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory until 3 p.m. Tuesday.

According to reports from weather service Weather Underground, La Cañada Flintridge reached peak wind speeds of 47 mph at 6:53 a.m. Paired with a relatively low humidity of 9%, the Santa Ana gusts present an extra fire risk.

A red flag warning issued by the National Weather Service is expected to be in effect until 8 p.m. Tuesday, indicating an extreme fire danger for northern parts of L.A. County, including La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose and Pasadena.

While word spread Monday that Edison could invoke a public safety power outage in communities from Santa Clarita to Pasadena to minimize fire risk, Milbourn said that option was not likely.


“We’ve had two in the last 10 years, and both were in Idyllwild,” she said of the unincorporated mountain town in Riverside County. “It really is a last resort.”

Patrick DeChellis, La Cañada Flintridge’s director of public works, said in an email a staffer from his department had been dispatched to survey infrastructure throughout the community for damage, which will be reported as it becomes available. A list of private property damages is being compiled by the city’s planning department, DeChellis said.

According to La Cañada High School 7/8 Principal Jarrett Gold, parents were notified of the outage on campus but were informed classes would not be dismissed.

“Still no power,” Gold wrote at 1:40 p.m., in response to a reporter’s email, “but we are ‘powering’ through it. Staff is still teaching and students are in good spirits.”

Twitter: @SaraCardine