San Diego Gas & Electric has restored power for thousands of customers who had their service shut off ahead of Thanksgiving due to wildfire threats.
The National Weather Service's red flag warning doesn't expire until 6 p.m., and SDG&E reports more 53,000 customers could still have their power shut off at any time. As of 4:20 p.m., no customers were without power due to Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS).
More than 5,300 SDG&E customers woke up on Thanksgiving Day without power, and by Friday morning that number decreased to 3,586.
The utility lists communities that stand to be impacted. Those include:
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- Barona Reservation
- Cuyapaipe Reservation
- El Cajon
- Eucalyptus Hills
- La Posta Reservation
- La Jolla Reservation
- Los Coyotes Reservation
- Manzanita Reservation
- Mesa Grande Reservation
- Mount Laguna
- Otay Reservoir
- Pala Reservation
- Palomar Mountain
- Pauma Reservation
- Pauma Valley
- Pine Valley
- Ramona Dam
- Rancho Santa Fe
- Rincon Reservation
- San Marcos
- San Pasqual Reservation
- San Vicente
- Santa Ysabel
- Santa Ysabel Reservation
- Sycuan Reservation
- Torrey Highlands
- Valley Center
- Warner Springs
- West 4S Ranch
SDG&E first warned on Monday it could shut power off to more than 43,000 people to prevent wildfires amid fire weather forecasted on Thanksgiving. Wednesday night, the agency bumped that number up to 53,000+.
The orange circles on the map below note communities that could face holiday weekend power outages. Any red circles show where power has been shut off.
Red flag warnings are issued when heat, low humidity and high winds are forecasted and fire risk is high.
Here's a look at peak wind speeds from Thanksgiving Day provided by the National Weather Service:
Hauser Mountain: 73 mph
Round Potrero: 63 mph
Rancho Heights: 60 mph
Alpine: 59 mph
Palomar Mtn Lookout: 60 mph
Buckman Springs: 59 mph
A high wind advisory issued for I-8 between Alpine and the San Diego-Imperial county line was cancelled at around 6:20 p.m.
The current warning expires at 6 p.m. Friday, but customers could be without power through Saturday morning "depending on SDG&E‘s need and ability to physically inspect equipment during daylight hours prior to re-energizing.”
Those who may be affected can expect notification via phone, text message or email, SDG&E said. A list will also be available here where you can type in your address as well. Customers can also be alerted to outages with the PSPS app.
SDG&E has two community resource centers that can offer water, Wi-Fi, snacks, ice and more for residents.
Descanso County Library
9545 River Drive, Descanso, 91916
Friday's Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Potrero Community Center
24550 Highway 94, Potrero, 91963
Friday's hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
For more details, click here.
A brush fire sparked in Santee on Thanksgiving Day amid these dangerous fire conditions and grew up to 18 acres and threatened some homes in the area. But, the fire was extinguished and did not cause any damage or injuries.
SDG&E has an emergency center to monitor fire weather conditions around the clock using 220 weather stations with real-time data on wind, temperatures and humidity conditions, SDG&E said.
The state of California gives utility companies the ability to temporarily turn off power to specific areas to reduce the risk of wildfires caused by electric infrastructure.
According to the state, electric infrastructure has been responsible for less than 10% of reported wildfires but those attributed to power lines consist of about half of California’s most destructive fires.
“Weather conditions change, and we have our team of professionals watching closely. However, we wanted to let our customers know as early as possible that they could be impacted so they can make alternate holiday arrangements if needed,” SDG&E chief safety officer Kevin Geraghty said in a written statement.
“Once conditions come back to normal, they will have people walk the lines … physically looking and using drones to make sure nothing has blown into a power line before they turn it back on,” said SDG&E spokesperson Denice Menard.
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