Crime - Sacto 911

Power being restored across windswept Sacramento neighborhoods; outage had topped 100,000 homes

The powerful storm that has lashed the capital region with high wind gusts, heavy rain and downed trees knocked out power for a time to more than 125,000 homes and businesses Sunday.

At 11:15 p.m., many customers had their power restored – about 30,000 SMUD and 2,000 PG&E

customers in the four-county region remained without power.

SMUD reported more than 350 outages in the region, with the majority of customers who lost power clustered in south Sacramento, Elk Grove, Arden Arcade and Carmichael areas. Around 8 p.m., areas of south Sacramento, especially along Florin Road, had nearly 35,000 customers without power. By 11 p.m., the area with the most outages was in Carmichael with roughly 7,700 customers in the dark.

Earlier in the evening, at least 25,000 homes and businesses without electricity in the Arden Arcade area and about 10,000 were without power in Elk Grove, according to SMUD’s outage map.

A number of outages were restored as roughly 30 SMUD employees – 8 line crews, 5 troubleshooters, operators and service dispatchers – were called on to help restore power in different neighborhoods, with more on call, according to the utility’s spokeswoman Lindsay VanLaningham.

“We had crews on standby ready for the storm,” VanLaningham said. “The winds can pose a problem, but they are working as quickly and safely as possible.”

Customers were also affected around Cal Expo, Wilton, Land Park, Rio Linda, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, downtown Sacramento and East Sacramento, the utility said.

Most SMUD customers can expect power to be restored by 10 or 10:30 p.m., VanLaningham said. Customers are encourage to keep up with outages on the SMUD outage website and through the utility’s Twitter page.

PG&E reported that outages affected customers in Yolo County – including about 1,000 customers at 11 p.m. in West Sacramento – as well as homes and businesses in the Sacramento Delta areas in Courtland, Clarksburg, Isleton and Dixon, and the foothills of Placer and El Dorado counties – including Shingle Springs, Pollock Pines, Placerville and El Dorado Hills.

Heavy rain has caused several major roadways to flood, according to the California Highway Patrol: Highway 99 flooded in Galt, Highway 16 in Woodland flooded and southbound lanes of Interstate 5 flooded in downtown Sacramento.

CHP logs show dozens of reports of hazardous road blocks – mostly tree branches – since Sunday night.

The storm also caused a brief headache for fire dispatchers when a communication link between the region’s primary emergency 911 systems were unable to relay data to the Sacramento Regional Fire/EMS Communication Center in Rancho Cordova, said Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department spokesman Capt. Chris Vestal.

The center, which handles and routes all fire and medical-related emergency calls for first responders in the county, was unable to receive data and telephone transfers from the area’s primary emergency dispatchers – Sacramento Police and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, he said.

Emergency services for the public, such as 911, were unaffected, Vestal said, as dispatchers were able to relay calls for service through backup systems. Sacramento Fire Department spokesman Capt. Keith Wade said operations were normal even with the secondary system in place.

Strong winds and rain are expected to continue through the morning hours of Monday, according to forecasters at the National Weather Service office in Sacramento.

This is a developing story; check back with sacbee.com for the latest.

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