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California Storm: Power Outages Affect More Than 850,000 Customers

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Extreme winds of practically 100 miles per hour lashed components of California on Sunday, toppling timber and energy traces and leaving greater than 850,000 properties and companies throughout the state without power. Utility suppliers had been unsure when the lights would return on.

Pacific Gasoline & Electrical, which providers prospects in Northern California, the Central Valley and the coast all the way down to Santa Barbara, mentioned that their outages alone had been affecting greater than 1,000,000 folks on Sunday night, as sturdy winds and fallen timber made it unimaginable for crews to make a full evaluation.

“Our message to prospects primarily is we’re working to evaluate the injury,” mentioned Denny Boyles, a PG&E spokesman.

Earlier than the storm, the utility firm had warned prospects to maneuver patio furnishings inside to forestall it from flying into energy traces, he mentioned, recalling a strong storm a couple of years in the past through which wind gusts despatched a buyer’s yard trampoline flying.

Santa Clara County was the hardest-hit a part of the state when it got here to electrical energy outages. Almost 140,000 properties and companies had gone darkish by Sunday night on account of the sturdy winds and heavy rain, mentioned Scott Kleebauer, a forecaster with the Nationwide Climate Service. Flooding within the county even affected PG&E’s underground tools.

Most of California was underneath both a wind advisory or excessive wind warning, Mr. Kleebauer added, noting that the rain may additionally trigger mudslides with the potential to knock out energy traces.

A number of different areas had been hit by energy outages, together with Sacramento, the place greater than 170,000 prospects had been with out energy — nonetheless far fewer than the 600,000 whose electrical energy was knocked out throughout final 12 months’s storms, mentioned Gamaliel Ortiz, a spokesman for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

“Final 12 months was the measuring stick for us and we all know what to arrange for,” he mentioned, noting that the utility service had since elevated the variety of restore crews, injury assessors and workplace assist workers members. However because the storm continued to clobber the state, worse impacts had been actually attainable, Mr. Ortiz mentioned.

“The potential of probably the most injury is type of proper now,” he added. “We don’t know which manner it’s going to go.”

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