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Thousands of lightning strikes dazzle the region during storm

Posted at 11:36 AM, Mar 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-06 14:46:27-05

As the storm moved through the Central Coast Monday night into Tuesday, Mother Nature put on a dazzling display and left some residents in the dark.

The National Weather Service said Tuesday that they don’t keep track of lightning strike totals, but they did confirm there were thousands across the Southern California region.

This lightning detection graph is from the National Interagency Fire Center. The red marks indicate lightning strikes.

KSBY Chief Meteorologist Dave Hovde says lightning strikes on the Central Coast are not uncommon in winter; however, outbreaks like we had Tuesday night are the kind of thing we might only see once or twice a decade!

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This #lightning 🌩 is #wild My neighbors house is #lit Stay safe peeps! #swipeleft #lovelightning #centralcoast #weather #thunder #nipomo #california #atmosphericriver #storm #slocounty #beonksby

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The lightning and rain hitting the central and south coasts on Tuesday impacted flights in and out of San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport and Santa Barbara Airport.

The San Luis Obispo Airport confirms flights were delayed out of the airport at one point Tuesday evening. Lightning stopped refueling services for a short time.

At least two flights from San Luis Obispo to Phoenix were delayed. One of the flights was delayed about an hour and a half. The other flight was delayed about 30 minutes.

A flight from Denver to Santa Barbara was diverted to Bakersfield. A second flight from Santa Barbara to Phoenix was delayed by about an hour and a half.

Courtesy: Tom Zepeda, Jr


Power outages were reported throughout the night for thousands of people including parts of Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Grover Beach, Arroyo Grande and parts of southern Santa Barbara County.

Around 9 p.m., more than 100 customers were without power along Highway 46 from Geneseo Road to just past Union Road in Paso Robles. Neighbors say a PG&E power pole was struck by lightning.

“All of a sudden it’s just like, we just heard it blow up. It sounded like a bomb went off and we looked over and then we saw fire and lights and everything going off and then everything went black,” said Barbie Reyna, a Paso Robles resident.

In the San Luis Obispo Perfumo Canyon area, 70 customers were still without power at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday.

To see the latest information on PG&E outages, click here.

Courtesy: Danielle Taft
Courtesy: Marco Trasmondi Pismo Beach


Southern California Edison says 9,800 residents in the Samarkand and Oak Park areas near Cottage Hospital were in the dark but power has been restored to all but 100 people by 7:30 a.m.

To see the latest information on Southern California Edison, click here.

Scattered showers will remain throughout the day but we are already seeing some rainbows!

Courtesy: Jennifer L. Smith