Santa Ana winds: High wind watch Thursday to Saturday

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The National Weather Service has issued a high wind watch for a wide area of the region beginning late Thursday into Saturday.

Forecasters say northeast winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 65 mph are possible below the Cajon and Banning passes in the Inland Empire and the Fremont and Modjeska canyons in the Santa Ana mountains.

Damaging winds also are possible across the mountains of Ventura and Los Angeles counties, the strongest occurring most likely on Friday morning.

In the meantime, parts of the San Gabriel Valley are still recovering from a fierce storm Nov. 30 that unleashed winds approaching 100 mph.

Gov. Jerry Brown has just begun to campaign for help to families and businesses fix damage from last month's windstorm in Southern California.

State officials Wednesday asked the Small Business Administration to declare a disaster that, if approved, would allow renters, homeowners and businesses in Los Angeles County and Rancho Cucamonga to apply for low-interest loans from the agency.

A preliminary estimate of damage and cleanup costs in Pasadena alone approached $20 million, where a dozen buildings were red-tagged as uninhabitable, including a 41-unit apartment complex smashed by a 70-foot tree.

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