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High winds cause power outages for thousands

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Posted at 6:02 PM, Feb 22, 2023

Ongoing strong winds that began Tuesday evening left several Santa Maria homes without power and streetlights going dark.

“I don’t like the wind. That is the downfall of here, is the wind. But this seems worse than normal,” said David Keith of Los Alamos.

“We weren’t ready for this weather! We thought California would be sunny and warm,” said Greg and Leona Ewig, who were in town visiting from Hawaii. “Our son told us it would be a little windy out here so we brought the best jacket we could from home, and we are actually freezing in the morning and at nighttime.”

Mark van de Kamp, public information officer with the City of Santa Maria, says those winds resulted in stoplights from La Brea Avenue to Betteravia to either flash red or go dark completely.

“When there are outages at the light, drivers who approach that intersection, and every driver from each direction needs to just treat it as if it were a stop sign,” he said.

Wednesday afternoon, officials with PG&E said in the span of the past 24 hours, about 2,000 customers in Santa Maria experienced weather-related outages at their homes, but they say power was restored in under two hours for all but three of their affected customers.

Santa Maria native Tony Norwood tells KSBY he does his best to be prepared for an outage.

“I think they do a good job at notifying people. I get it ahead of time on my phone and then you hear about it on the news, so I think they do a pretty good job,” Norwood said.

“We really appreciate the PG&E crews working hard to restore the power and keep it on so that everybody can have the power, the lights and be safe,” van de Kamp added.

PG&E officials say in anticipation of this week’s weather and potential outages, more than 2,800 crew members have been deployed around the Central Coast to monitor conditions and tend to any other outages that may arise.

Suzanne Hosn with PG&E also adds that from Templeton south to Santa Ynez, less than 7,000 of their customers have experienced outages since Tuesday evening. She says for all but 2,000 of them, power was restored in less than two hours.

You can sign up for PG&E alerts and view their real-time outage map by clicking here: https://outageweb.ss.pge.com

https://www.pge.com/en_US/residential/your-account/account-management/manage-your-account/alerts-and-notifications.page