USA – The devil winds are here. Southern California had its first major Santa Ana wind event of the season, with tens of thousands of homes losing power Monday.
A red flag warning was in effect across the region through Tuesday night, with wind gusts of up to 55 miles per hour expected in the valleys and coastal areas, according to the National Weather Service. Gusts were expected to reach 65 mph in the mountains.
SoCal Edison’s online outage map showed thousands of homes had gone dark in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties.
That includes the foothill communities of La Cañada, Altadena, Sierra Madre and Monrovia.
SCE has warned it may be forced to cut power to some areas if it believes the wind could cause power lines to spark brush fires.
As of 5:15 p.m. Monday, nearly 50,000 customers were without power in L.A., Ventura, Orange, Riderside and San Bernardino counties. None of the outages were part of those precautions, according to Edison.
“We understand the impact turning off power could have on customers,” Paul Grigaux, SCE’s incident commander, said in a press release. “We will only shut off the power as a last resort when weather conditions are so dangerous that flying branches, palm fronds and other vegetation pose a threat to power lines and the safety of the community.”
In the city of L.A., about 8,900 customers were without power by mid-day, according to LADWP.
Reporter Caleigh Wells contributed to this story.
1:20 p.m.: Updated with information about cause of outages.
1:45 p.m.: Updated with number of SoCal Edison customers without power.
2:41 p.m.: Updated with number of LADWP customers who lost power.
5:26 p.m.: Updated with latest numbers from SoCal Edison.
This story was originally published at 7:35 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 15.