Cleanup efforts are underway after strong winds crossed Southern California Monday night, falling trees, stirring dust storms and causing power outages in thousands.
On Tuesday, Pacific Gas and Electric warned another 29,000 Californians that they could turn off their power starting early Thursday morning. In a second wind -related “public safety power outage” this week, the utility warned 19 counties in Northern and Central California could be affected to reduce the risk of fire from power lines.
Pacific Gas and Electric began to issue time “all clear” in some locations that follow Shut-off Monday, which affected nearly 24,000 customers in parts of 23 provinces, from Santa Barbara County in the north to Shasta County. Some of the areas most affected by the shutoffs are Butte County, where winds reached 55 mph, Shasta County and Tehama County, where winds reached 52 mph and 47 mph, respectively. The utility is also monitoring a weather forecast that could bring a lot of dry air to their service area starting Wednesday night, which could lead to more power shut-offs.
PG&E has started opening dozens community resource centers for customers to charge medical equipment and electronic devices, use the internet and ask for aircon and heating.
Wind advisors in Ventura and Los Angeles County mountain communities were canceled Tuesday afternoon after winds dropped below advisory levels, according to a spokesman for the National Weather Service Office in Oxnard. Strong winds the other day led to dust storms in the area that dropped in visibility on nearly zero and closed sections of 14 Freeway and State Route 138 in Lancaster for hours.
Many areas across the state have seen damage from trees blown down by strong winds.
In a South LA neighborhood, many parked cars were damaged by giant destroyed trees overnight. Local residents at KABC7 said they have been complaining about the trees for years, saying the trees are old and could cause damage.
In Van Nuys, a tree fell on an SUV as a woman and her two sons were traveling on Erwin Street on Monday. The woman told reporters at KTLA5 that she was scratched, but no one was seriously hurt in the incident.
Up north in Sacramento, trees damaged cars and houses. In one incident, a tree fell on a vehicle while a mother and daughter were inside. Both were safely exposed, but the car was damaged, they told KABC10.
Air consultants are currently in the San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara provinces area and are expected to last until early Wednesday. The advice warns about strong winds that can throw unsafe objects and make driving difficult, especially for motor vehicles.
In Los Angeles County, Santa Ana winds are expected to pick up Thursday night through Friday morning with gusts between 30 and 45 mph. “Along with the high temperature and low humidity … there will be some significant fire hazards,” the spokesman said. A fire weather watch is in effect for most Los Angeles and Ventura counties due to dry conditions from Friday morning to Friday night.
A red flag warning in Monterey County warns of strong north winds and low humidity that could result in critical fire weather conditions through Tuesday afternoon.
In contrast, the first snowfall of the season hit the San Bernardino mountains last night. Video captured by OnScene.TV shows accumulated snow at various locations around Running Springs and Arrowbear Lake. A frost advisor in the nearby Apple and Lucerne valleys that is in effect until midnight warns of temperatures below 28 degrees.