No emergency outages after Santa Ana winds prompted Southern California fire danger warnings
An unseasonably strong Santa Ana winds have prompted Southern California fire danger warnings and caused outages, but there are no immediate reports of power outages.
The Santa Ana winds, with up to 60 mph gusts, forced the closure of Interstate 5 between the Santa Ana River and Interstate 5 in the City of Orange Tuesday evening, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The California Independent System Operator said the winds knocked out power for more than 300,000 people across the Golden State.
In Los Angeles County, high winds caused power outages that affected about 740,000 homes and businesses.
The outages were mainly located along Santa Ana Canyon and in the cities of Santa Ysabel and Santa Ana, said Los Angeles County Fire Chief Craig McAllister.
He said power was restored to about 700,000 homes Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. McAllister said the city had about 800,000 customers affected by outages.
About 1,200 homes and businesses were without power in the cities of Downey and Chino Hills.
The power outages sparked concern about power-related issues, including how to ensure a constant, reliable electric supply.
“It is imperative that all residents of Northern California have ample supplies of electricity to power essential devices and appliances,” said California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.
While the wind is expected to decrease Wednesday as the system passes through the state, the winds will continue to be a factor in Southern California, said Newsom’s office in a statement.
“While the Santa Ana winds are not expected to be as strong as they were on Monday, wind has the potential to impact energy production, and as the winds and heavy rains intensify, energy users may face power disruptions due to downed trees or power lines,” the statement said.
The National Weather Service tweeted a photo Tuesday that showed the wind was blowing about 50 mph.
In San Francisco, wind gusts were as high as 49 mph. The high winds knocked out power for several neighborhoods, forcing crews to use portable generators that provide electricity when utility lines are out.
The San Francisco Chronicle said Tuesday night’s gusts at the Ferry Building were recorded at 46 mph.
The winds were expected to die down Wednesday morning, but forecasters expected them to return Thursday night