Thousands Waiting for Power After Epic Windstorm

Los Angeles resident Sandra Hernandez is one of the luckier ones. Her power was restored Friday afternoon, more than 36 hours after it was blown out. Hernandez, who has a toddler and is also taking care of her mother, said area stores were wiped clean of supplies. "We went to several stores like Target, True Value, and CVS, but they were sold out of batteries and flashlights."
The powerful winds that tore across Western states Wednesday through Friday created a path destruction that closed schools, left neighborhoods with a snarl of downed trees and power lines, and prompted some communities to declare emergencies. The storms, described as a once-in-a-decade event, were the result of a dramatic difference in pressure between a strong, high-pressure system and a cold, low-pressure system, meteorologists said. This funnels strong winds down mountain canyons and slopes. All over Twitter, people in Southern California tweeted that they felt like they were in the middle of a hurricane. Although California and Utah took the brunt of the storm, the howling winds were intruding into the Desert Southwest on Thursday as well. Northern Santa Ana winds sweeping down through canyons created gusts comparable to a hurricane. At one point, peak sustained winds at the summit of Mammoth Mountain, California were the same as a strong Category 4 hurricane. The National Weather Service issued high wind warnings and wind advisories for parts of California, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming.