SDG&E warns of potential power shutoffs ahead of Santa Ana winds

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SAN DIEGO -- San Diego Gas & Electric notified 30,000 customers in high fire-risk areas Tuesday that they could be impacted by power shutoffs ahead of Santa Ana winds expected in the region.

Moderate Santa Ana winds were expected to hit the region starting Thursday and peak on Friday morning, bringing elevated wildfire danger to the backcountry. The National Weather Service has declared a Red Flag Warning for San Diego County valleys and mountains noon Thursday through 6 p.m. Friday.

The following communities could experience shutoffs:

  • Banner Grade
  • Wynola
  • Julian
  • Santa Ysabel
  • East Ramona
  • Boulevard
  • Potrero
  • Viejas
  • Rincon
  • Palomar Mountain
  • Descanso
  • East Alpine
  • Pine Valley
  • Mt Laguna
  • Valley Center
  • West Valley Center
  • Mesa Grande
  • Rancho Santa Fe
  • Fallbrook

SDG&E will provide updated notifications to customers within 24 hours of an anticipated power shutoff and again within one to four hours of a shutoff. The utility advised those who receive the notification to be prepared, making sure they have such emergency supplies as water, food, flashlights, extra batteries and cellphone battery packs.

Should any precautionary power shut-off last for more than 24 hours, the utility plans to open temporary aid centers where customers can get water and snacks, charge their cellphones, and get updates.

Residents can sign up for emergency alert online at sdge.com/MyAccount.

The strongest winds over the period are expected Thursday night through Friday morning. Daytime humidity levels are likely to fall to 5-10% Thursday and remain at the lower end of that spectrum on Friday, according to the weather service.

Combustion hazards are expected to be "marginal" Thursday and "moderate" Friday, according to the Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index.

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