Stiff Santa Ana winds — including what could be the strongest gust ever recorded locally — buffeted the San Diego area Wednesday, causing widespread East County power outages and prompting school closures.
Due to the onset of the unusually blustery conditions, the National Weather Service issued a high wind warning for the region’s valleys and highlands through late afternoon, along with a less serious wind advisory effective until noon Thursday for those same locales.
As of shortly before 8:30 a.m., the whipping winds had knocked out power to nearly 1,800 San Diego Gas & Electric customers in a number of East County communities, including the Cuyamaca, Descanso, Green Valley Falls, Guatay, Mount Laguna, Pine Valley and Viejas areas, the utility reported.
Citing the power outages and hazardous travel conditions for buses, the county Office of Education announced that all schools in the Mountain Empire Unified School District would be closed for the day.
As of late morning, the weather service had tallied gusts up to 55 mph along the coast, 77 mph in the inland valleys and 106 mph in one East County location. The triple-digit reading on Sill Hill, a 3,717-foot-high peak southwest of Julian, was ” at least close to, and maybe the highest wind gust ever measured in San Diego County,” the NWS reported.
By early evening, electrical service had been restored to all but 434 of the addresses affected by the blackouts, according to SDG&E. About 20 of those were expected to be back online this evening, and the rest by Thursday afternoon, the utility advised.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: