Offshore winds gust through west valley

west winds

CABAZON, Calif. - Strong winds up to 64 mph blew through the San Gorgonio Pass on Wednesday. It was a windy awakening for people who live west of the Coachella Valley. Over 11,700 residents in Riverside County were without power due to the high winds.

Frank Arriola recently moved to Cabazon from Orange County. Wednesday was his first encounter with the typical springtime conditions. 

"Well this morning woke up seeing it was windy wow crazy," he said. "It blew out the power where we live."

And that would only be the beginning of Ariolla's day of the wind. He then went to the gas station, where the winds would cause his car to roll about 100 feet.

"Literally I walked in and it couldn't have been more than three minutes," said Ariolla. "Walked in, paid, walked out, truck gone." 

Ariolla left his car parked at the gas pump. He went in to pay the cashier and when he returned the winds had pushed his truck across the parking lot into another vehicle. The cars were damaged, but no one was hurt. 

It was an important reminder of how strong and how dangerous the winds can be. 

Nick Ronberg, a Fontana resident, was running errands in Cabazon Wednesday. He said his home is about 10 minutes from the Etiwanda Wildfire, where the conditions are much worse. 

"It's just extremely windy, dusty everywhere," said Ronberg. " Everywhere you turn is just chaos and a mess everywhere. It's just a bunch of stuff -- trees getting knocked over, branches getting tossed across the roads, debris from peoples yards. It's just a mess."

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Etiwanda Wildfire was at 1,000 acres. 

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