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Along with the rest of the population of the Los Angeles area, lawyers battled downed power lines, fallen trees and road closures to get to work following a devastating night of Santa Ana winds. The winds, reaching 100 miles per hour, forced hundreds of thousands of residents to spend the night and early hours of Dec. 1 without power. By about noon, more than 200,000 people remained without power, according to Southern California Edison and officials in Pasadena, Calif. Several cities in the region closed schools and Pasadena officials declared an emergency after winds knocked trees onto the streets, felling power lines and blocking traffic. By morning, street lights remained out and roof tiles, garbage and broken fences were strewn across many streets. David Quam, director of human resources and attorney recruitment at Christie, Parker & Hale in Pasadena, said his office remained open — for now. “We don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “It took me an hour and a half to get to work.” The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and state trial courts with Pasadena facilities reported that the power was on and they were open for business following the storm. Still, attorneys who live in the area had trouble getting to downtown Los Angeles offices. “I was told the winds were really powerful, there were significant power outages and that at least several people have said they could not get into work,” Bill Urqhuart of Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart & Hedges, said via e-mail. Urquhart lives in South Pasadena, Calif., where trees had collapsed along his street. One of the firm’s partners, Harry Olivar, said many of the roads near his house in San Marino, Calif., were closed. Other streets had tree limbs down or inoperable traffic lights. Reached by cell phone, he said he was going to attempt to drive to the office, but the “way downtown seems pretty clogged.” By mid-morning, the winds had died down but were expected to pick up again in the afternoon and remain through Dec. 2. The Santa Ana are hot, dry and frequently destructive winds that sweep through Southern California’s canyons in the late fall, creating conditions condusive to wild fires and fanning the flames when they occur. Contact Amanda Bronstad at [email protected].

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