19,200 without power as winds kick up in San Diego

The number of people without power in the San Diego area is growing by the hour as the county braces to protect itself from deadly wildfire conditions that have scorched segments of Southern California.

  • As of 2:30 p.m. Thursday, San Diego Gas & Electric shut off the power for about 12,000 customers due to safety reasons as high winds and dry conditions have put the area at risk.
  • In addition, another 7,200 in the SDG&E service territory are without electricity due to various conditions the utility is investigating.
  • The total of about 19,200 customers without power is more than twice the number recorded around noon Thursday.
  • The areas affected included parts of Descanso, Pine Hills, and Buckman Springs as well as North County communities such as Valley Center, Santa Ysabel and Palomar Mountain.
  • SDG&E’s outage map shows power shutoffs concentrated in backcountry and North County areas but as morning turned into afternoon, some outages were reported in more urban areas.
  • At 2:55 p.m., 5,181 in the Torrey Pines/ Sorrento Valley/ University City area lost power, with electricity expected to come back at 5:30 p.m.
  • Some 2,842 customers in the Fletcher Hills/El Cajon, Santee/Carlton Hills area lost electricity at 2:54 p.m. Power is expected to come back on at 5:30 p.m.
  • At 2:05 p.m., 739 customers were without power in the Clairemont/Linda Vista/ Mission Valley, Old Town/ Mission Hills/Hillcrest area. Crews expect to bring back power by 5 p.m.
  • At 12:12 p.m. nearly 3,200 customers lost power in the Winter Gardens/Lakeside/ Blossom Valley/ Eucalyptus Hills and San Vicente area, with power expected to return at 3 p.m.

Windy and dry conditions — due to weeks of no discernible amounts of rain — prompted SDG&E to say power may be out for several days before being restored safely.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for San Diego and southern Orange County through 8 p.m. Saturday.

For those who have lost power, the utility advises having adequate emergency supplies on hand for an extended period of time.

Gusts as high as 88 mph were reported at Sill Hill in Descanso on Thursday morning. And at about 2 p.m., Sill Hill recorded a wind speed of 73 mph.

A fast-moving fire in North County, called the Lilac Fire, has closed Highway 76 in both directions. Cal Fire at 4:01 p.m. said the blaze had destroyed 20 structures. Two civilian burn victims were being treated and transported.


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