Destructive winds wreak havoc on Northern Calif. homes, trees, cars (photos)

5:58 PM, Apr 8, 2013   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO (AP) - High winds are lashing Northern California, downing trees and creating isolated power outages.

PHOTOS: Northern California wind damage caught on camera

Much of the region, including parts of the San Francisco Bay area, was under a wind advisory Monday morning. The National Weather Service said the strongest winds were expected in the Sacramento and northern San Joaquin valleys.

Winds there will be between 25 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph through the evening.

Monday afternoon, air quality officials in the San Joaquin Valley issued a cautionary health advisory, saying:

Winds may produce areas of localized blowing dust, which can result in unhealthy concentrations of particulate matter 10 microns and smaller (PM10). Exposure to particulate pollution can cause serious health problems, aggravate lung disease, trigger asthma attacks and bronchitis, and increase risk of respiratory infections.

Where conditions warrant, people with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors' advice for dealing with episodes of particulate exposure. Additionally, older adults and children should avoid prolonged exposure or heavy exertion, depending on their local conditions.

A dust storm closed State Route 14 in the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles, and high winds also forced closure of 34 miles of Interstate 40 in Arizona.  

Rising winds are also reported in Colorado, and forecasters expect New Mexico to begin feeling the system's effects late Monday.  

The massive rush of air across California also has had an upside. The main power grid operator says turbines spinning within the grid produced a record 4,196 megawatts Sunday night.

The Associated Press and News10/KXTV

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