SONOMA, Calif. — The Latest on power outages in California (all times local):
More than 1.5 million people in Northern California are without power, some for a second day, as strong winds sweep through the region.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. cut power to more than 140,000 customers late Wednesday night to prevent wildfires amid dry, windy weather and extreme fire danger. The new power cuts turned off the lights in parts of the San Francisco Bay area, but not in the city itself.
Another 500,000 customers had their electricity cut off earlier by the utility to prevent transmission lines from being toppled and starting wildfires amid heavy winds and extreme fire danger. Experts say there are generally 2.5 people for each electrical customer.
Forecasters say wind gusts early Thursday on some San Francisco Bay Area hills reached speeds of 70 mph (110 kph). There was an overnight fire in the suburban town of Moraga that sent residents fleeing from their homes until the fire was put out.
Millions of Californians are playing a waiting game with the winds after Pacific Gas & Electric cut power to prevent transmission lines from being toppled and sparking wildfires.
PG&E intentionally blacked out about 730,000 homes and businesses Wednesday in northern and central California because of predicted dry, gusty winds. The outages came in two phases, with the San Francisco Bay Area hit late Wednesday night.
There’s no word on how long the outage will last, although PG&E says it could be days because power lines must be inspected and declared safe after the winds subside.
In the south, Santa Ana winds are expected to hit the region Thursday. Southern California Edison warns that it might cut power to nearly 174,000 customers in nine counties.
The Associated Press