East County

Possible Power Outages Due to Fire Weather Concerns East County Residents

As dangerous fire weather increases, residents now worry about possible power outages

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San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) notified hundreds of East County residents that it may have to turn off power over the next few days due to elevated fire weather conditions. 

One county local said that while he does worry about a fire breaking out near his home in Jamul, he is more concerned about the huge losses a power shut off will cost his new business.

After living for 18 years at his property in Jamul, Rusty Batty has seen his fair share of flames. In 2003, he witnessed first hand the Cedar fire, in 2007 the Witch Creek fire, and just recently the Valley fire.

“I packed up all my valuable stuff and took my stuff and went down to the beach with my girlfriend,” Batty said. 

So far his home has survived all major wildfires in the area. But there is one thing he hasn't been able to avoid.

“I just got a text message saying they were going to shut off my power,” Batty said. 

Batty is one of the nearly 700 residents in East County who were notified they could potentially have their power shut off because of the dangerous fire weather in the next few days.

“It seems like it's happening more and more and it’s getting really frustrating,” Batty said.

A situation like this can be quite frustrating and costly. 

Batty is weeks away from opening up a winery on his land.

“We have a winery starting here on October 31. It's a boutique winery. The tasting room, no food. We'll have five different varieties of wine and we need electricity," he said.

A power shut off could mean huge losses for his new business.

“My cooling room goes down, the fermentation room gets too warm, that’ll spoil the wine and yeah we have quite a bit of wine in there so we don’t want that to happen. I got a generator but it’s not going to be enough to carry the whole load of electricity needed in there," he said.

But in an effort to reduce wildfire risk in the area due to elevated fire weather conditions and forecast Santa Ana winds, Batty and hundreds of others could be left in the dark starting tonight.

The National Weather Service on Sunday issued a fire weather watch for Monday for inland San Diego County mountains and foothills.

Weak to moderate Santa Ana winds are expected to arrive Sunday, peak Monday morning and become weak to moderate by the end of the day, the NWS said.

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