Stoplights were out. Businesses were closed. There wasn’t any power for tens of thousands of people in San Diego County Thursday.
The wind was too strong, and San Diego Gas & Electric shut off the power as a precaution starting without 20,000 customers Wednesday evening. By Thursday morning, more than 72,000 customers were without power and several East County schools had to cancel classes as a result.
The company initiates shut-offs when gusty winds have the potential to knock down power lines. A charged powerline could start a wildfire.
“Unfortunately, it’s just another day,” said animal caregiver Chris Haynes outside the San Diego Humane Society’s Escondido Campus.
Haynes spoke to NBC 7 off the campus because the power shutdown meant the animal shelter couldn’t open the electric gate to let people park inside.
“We are staging our guests out here in front of the campus and we’re bringing the animals out to them,” Haynes explained.
He also pointed out the shell of a carport. The wind ripped the cover off last night.
“That’s supposed to keep our hay and livestock equipment safe,” he sighed.
Farther north in Valley Center, several businesses opted to close for the day. It’s hard to make money without power.
The Woods Valley Kampground stayed open with the help of its generator. 30 guests were already checked in on the site by the time SDG&E warned the power would be shut off.
“I understand that, but at the same time it’s frustrating,” admitted Ashley Sias who runs the campground’s office.
She said it was frustrating because they couldn’t provide all the usual services to their guests. Sias said they were warned their power may be off through Sunday.
“You just gotta roll with the punches the best you can,” said Haynes as he went back to work.
Nearly 90,000 San Diego County electric customers were warned their power could be shut off amid gusty winds expected to last through Sunday. A Red Flag Warning was in effect from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 10 p.m. Saturday.
"We recognize losing power is disruptive, and we sincerely thank our customers for their patience and understanding. For the latest information about outages and current conditions please visit sdge.com/ready," SDG&E said.