East County

3 Semi-Trucks Topple on I-8 as High Winds Affect East County

Strong gusts swept San Diego County's valleys and mountains Wednesday, leading to a weather warning and causing some wind damage

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At least three semi-trucks overturned in separate incidents on Interstate 8 in the East County, where inland communities were placed under a high wind warning due to gusts that reached 60 mph in some areas.

Since midnight Wednesday, two semi-trucks toppled in Alpine and the third near Buckman Springs. The latest incident was reported shortly before 6 a.m. near Alpine, where California Highway Patrol said the vehicle was on the righthand shoulder. That rollover was cleared by 1 p.m.

Relentless winds affected foothills, inland valleys and San Diego's mountains as a wind advisory from Tuesday upgraded to Wednesday’s high wind warning.

The conditions prompted the Mountain Empire Unified School District to cancel school Wednesday, as many students travel to school by bus, and high-profile vehicles and high wind are a dangerous combination.

The San Diego County Office of Education also cited several power outages as factors that led to the cancellation of school Wednesday. Schools were set to reopen Thursday.

One of those power outages happened in Descanso. Cal Fire told NBC 7 a transformer blew out and caused a small fire, but the blaze was quickly knocked out. More than 200 customers were left without power in that incident. SDG&E expected to fully restore power by 5:30 p.m. Officials believed the strong wind was to blame for the damage to the transformer.

NBC 7 also spotted downed trees in the Descanso area amid the high wind warning, as well as several trucks driving with hazard lights on along Interstate 8.

NBC 7 spoke with some Descanso residents about the gusts, including Gaye Brown De Alvarez who said the conditions were alarming.

"It was like hurricane force!" Brown De Alvarez explained. "I was worried about the trees; I hope they don't fall on the house."

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