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Simi Valley Man Dies Due To Strong Winds

Strong winds are being blamed for the death of a man in Simi Valley northwest of Los Angeles, when a tree was blown down on top of the man while he played tennis yesterday. Simi Valley police say 51-year-old Brian Smith was killed by a 45-foot- tree that fell at Oakridge Athletic Club.

Wind gusts that have been reported as high as 80 miles per hour at Alpine and Descanso in eastern San Diego County, caused havoc across Southern California yesterday. The roof was blown off one home, a two-mile line of utility poles were blown down in Riverside County, and several big-rigs overturned due to high winds. Some concrete utility poles were blown down in eastern San Diego County.

Along Interstate eight near the Mexico border, cars were reported damaged by blowing sand. A large road sign on Interstate eight was blown down, blocking two lanes of traffic for a time.

Late last night in the Banning Pass area near Palm Springs, about 40 power poles were blown down, causing some areas of fire. Another 30 power poles were blown down west of San Jacinto.

High wind warnings continue in Southern California into mid-afternoon today, with highest winds expected below mountain passes.