Gusty winds toppled more than a dozen power poles near the Salton Sea Thursday, leaving thousands of customers without power in the region, including some who may be intermittently without electricity through Saturday while crews work to repair the damage.
The outage affecting about 3,400 customers from Mecca in Riverside County south to Bombay Beach in Imperial County was reported about 4:20 a.m., according to the Imperial Irrigation District.
IID spokesman Robert Schettler said winds brought down 14 power poles in Imperial County, affecting lines serving customers in the Coachella Valley.
As of 4 p.m., all but 1,308 customers had power restored, and all but 20 of those customers will have power — temporarily — starting at 7 Thursday evening. Schettler said crews will be dropping off generators for those remaining 20 customers, many of whom live in remote pockets of the region.
Then beginning at 6 a.m. Friday, power will be shut off again for those 1,308 customers while crews work to fix the affected power lines. The same process could extend again through Friday night and into Saturday for an unspecified amount of customers, with work slated to be wrapped up by sometime Saturday, Schettler said.
He said crews will be working 24 hours a day to fully restore power to the region.
Schettler said some residents were congregating at area community centers while the work was completed.