Wind blamed for power outages, to taper off Friday

Published: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 - 7:41 pm

Winds that downed tree branches and caused power outages throughout the Sacramento Valley are expected to subside Friday afternoon, giving way to a calmer, warmer weekend.

Wind gusts for of 47 mph were recorded at Sacramento International Airport and in Davis, two areas that experienced today’s strongest winds, said Stefanie Henry, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

John Hilemann of the Davis Fire Department said a tree fell onto a utility pole on Fifth Street about 3 p.m., bending the pole. Fifth Street was closed for between G and I streets for several hours while crews replaced the pole and cleared debris.

More than 5,000 customers in downtown Sacramento experienced power outages around noon. Chris Capra, a spokesman for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, said the outages were caused by tree limbs that struck primary power lines. One outage in the downtown area affected 600 customers and power was restored in 20 minutes, Capra said. In the other downtown outage, affecting 4.800 customers, power was back on within 15 minutes. Scattered outages were reported throughout the day, including one shortly before 3 p.m. that affected 1,645 customers in the North Sacramento and South Natomas areas.

Linda Tucker, a spokeswoman for the city of Sacramento, said she had received no reports of major wind damage. Both she and Capra credited the relatively light damage to their agencies’ tree management programs.

A red flag warning for the Sacramento Valley remains in effect until 11 p.m. Friday because of the heightened portential for fires due to the combination of strong winds and low humidity.

Henry said the wind is expected to taper off late tonight but pick up again Friday morning before subsiding Friday afternoon.

Termperatures will edge up a bit, with highs in the low 80s forecast for Friday and Saturday in the Valley, and 85 on Sunday.

The Lake Tahoe area will feel the nip or winter-like weather, however, with overnight lows ranging from the upper teens to upper 20s tonight and Friday night. Highs in the low 50s are forecast for Friday and the low to upper 60s Saturday and Sunday.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Read more articles by Cathy Locke

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