21,000 residents brace for possible power outages


Monday update: Power shutoffs begin in Fallbrook amid Santa Ana winds

NORTH COUNTY — San Diego Gas & Electric notified more than 21,000 residents Sunday of possible power outages.

People who live in Pala Reservation, Fallbrook, Oceanside and Camp Pendleton were among those told their power could be turned off Monday or Tuesday because of dangerous fire conditions.

“We don’t know how the weather is going to turn out because the weather just happens and we’re doing the best to give people a heads up,” SDG&E spokesperson Helen Gao said.

She said the strongest winds are expected to sweep through the area overnight. They could exceed 50 miles per hour in some parts of North County.

“With this weather event, it’s really localized areas in coastal and urbanized communities. So it’s different in the sense that folks who could be at risk of public safety power shutoffs — they have never experienced this before,” Gao said.

San Diego got some rain over the weekend but not enough. That’s why Gao said there are still portions of the county with an elevated risk of wildfires.

“Tree branches can fall on power lines. Debris can get caught on power lines, etcetera. There are concerns about the wind causing damage,” Gao said.

If power is turned off, SDG&E said it’s hard to say how long the outage could last. It all depends on weather conditions.

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