SDG&E turns off power to parts of inland San Diego County as winds gust to 75 mph

SDG&E turned off the power to about 1,350 customers in eight areas in East County and North County on Wednesday night to protect the power grid and minimize the risk of wildfires as a Santa Ana wind storm picked up speed.

The Sill Hill weather station near Descanso measured wind gusts up to 75 mile an hour, the speed of a category one hurricane. Palomar Mountain hit 58 miles an hour and Julian reached 43 miles an hour.

SDG&E said earlier Wednesday that it had notified 170,000 people, mostly in East County, that they could lose power as the windstorm turned extreme on Thursday.

As of 9:42 p.m. Wednesday, the utility had turned off power in parts of West Descanso, Viejas, Boulder Creek, Live Oak Springs, Boulevard, Jucumba, Japatul Valley, Buckman Springs and Morena Valley, Santa Ysabel, Wynola, and Pine Hills, Valley Center, Rincon, Pauma Valley, La Jolla Indian Reservation, Hellhole Canyon, La Jolla Indian Reservation, Mesa Grande, Santa Ysabel, Palomar Mountain and Lake Henshaw. The outages, which will last until at least 4 p.m. Thursday, currently affect about 800 customers.

Live outage map

SDG&E added a statement about 9 p.m. that says: “ALERT: An extreme weather event with high winds and dry conditions is underway in select areas of the region. To maintain public safety, SDG&E has begun turning off power to customers in several communities.

“Current conditions indicate that power may remain out for several days before it can be safely restored. If your power is out, please be sure you have adequate emergency supplies on hand for an extended period of time and check here for the most current information on expected restoration times.”

By midnight, there were no fires related to wind in the back country. Winds appeared to peak with 75 mile an hour gusts at Sill Hill at around 8:40 p.m. Shortly before 1 a.m., wind had dropped to 20 miles an hour at Sill Hill, with gusts up to 45 miles an hour.

Staff writer Gary Warth contributed to this article.

Twitter: @grobbins

Copyright © 2018, La Jolla Light