17,000 Without Power Amid Dangerous Gusty Winds

In Carlsbad, a person was killed Thursday by a falling tree branch amid a high wind warning in effect for San Diego County. NBC 7's Gaby Rodriguez reports.

(Published Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017)

Gusty winds were causing severe weather conditions for San Diegans across the County Thursday, leading to the closure of a major roadway and possibly one death.]

The Red Flag Warning was also extended to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Thousands of San Diego Gas & Electric customers across the county were without power Thursday going into the weekend as high winds affected electrical equipment.

Areas most heavily affected were in Julian, where SDG&E shut off power to more than 1,060 customers due to weather conditions. In the Jacumba and Dulzura area, more than 1,600 customers were without power and the Bonsall/Fallbrook area, 1,050 were without power.

The Palomar Mountain area had nearly 1,500 customers without power and in Alpine, about 920 customers were without power.

SDG&E said some outages were due to weather affecting their equipment and some were shut off for safety reasons. In some cases, like in the Dulzura area, power was expected to be out for several days as crews repaired equipment.

There might be a likelihood that cell phones and cell backpacks may not function due to power being shut off.

As of 7 p.m. Thursday, SDG&E said there were 17,000 customers who had their power shut off due to strong wind gusts in the area.

Those include:

- Live Oaks Springs Boulevard - Buckman Springs - Palomar Mountain (Power expected to be restored Monday, 4 p.m.) - La Jolla Indian Reservation (Power expected to be restored Saturday, 4 p.m.) - Valley Center (Power expected to be restored Monday, 4 p.m.) - Mesa Grande (Power expected to be restored Saturday, 4 p.m.) - Jacumba - Japutal Valley (Power expected to be restored Sunday, 4 p.m.) - Marina Village - West Descanso (Power expected to be restored Monday, 4 p.m.) - Boulder Creek (Power expected to be restored Monday, 4 p.m.) - Rincon - Pauma Valley - Hellhole Canyon - Santa Ysabel (Power expected to be restored Monday, 4 p.m.) - Lake Henshaw (Power expected to be restored Monday, 4 p.m.)Power was restored to 4,002 customers Friday in Alpine, Bonsall and Rainbow areas.

Check the SDG&E outage map for the latest information.

In Carlsbad, a person was killed Thursday by a falling tree branch amid a high wind warning in effect for San Diego County.

The Carlsbad Police Department (CPD) said a limb of a tree toppled on a 70-year-old man at around 10:30 a.m. at Holiday Park near Pine Avenue and Pio Pico. The man was killed.

Carlsbad police are investigating if the incident is wind-related but warned residents to be aware of their surroundings during high-wind events.

Winds were also affecting roadways across the county.

Interstate 8 near Ocotillo was shut down in both directions due to high winds. A Sig Alert was issued for eastbound traffic at 11:30 a.m. Less than 30 minutes later the entire freeway was brought to a halt, California Highway Patrol (CHP) closed westbound lanes.

Evidence of the unusually strong winds can be seen on Fiesta Island. This video captured by NBC 7 Photojournalist Jeff Herrera on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. (Published Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017)

It was not clear when the interstate would be reopened.

Traffic on state Route 79 was at a standstill Thursday afternoon as crews worked to clear a trailer that went over a guardrail. Lanes were expected to reopen shortly.

The combination of Santa Ana conditions and low humidity created the potential for a devastating fire Thursday, forecasters said.

That potential became a reality in Fallbrook where gusty winds were fueling a fast-moving fire off I-15 and SR-76. The winds along I-15 near the fire were recorded at 30 to 35 mph.

Per the National Weather Service, a high wind warning remains in effect until 4 p.m. Friday with gusts between 25 and 90 mph in some parts of the county. This Santa Ana event is coupled with low humidity, a combination of dangerous conditions that makes for extreme wildfire threat in San Diego County.

Tuesday night, dozens were still without power due to strong wind gusts causing potentially dangerous fire conditions in Descanso. NBC 7’s Artie has more on why San Diego Gas & Electric is not taking any chances. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017)