RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Intense winds throughout the Inland Empire brought down power lines in multiple locations Monday, triggering electrical outages that affected several thousand people.
According to Southern California Edison, one of the largest outages was in Jurupa Valley, where damaged lines caused a blackout impacting 1,451 customers in the predawn hours. Technicians were still working to make repairs as of 10:30 a.m.
In Rancho Mirage, nearly 1,000 SCE customers lost service Monday morning due to an equipment failure that was likely wind-related.
Similarly, in Menifee, just under 1,000 homes and businesses experienced an outage amid the windstorm, while in Norco, about 200 were impacted, according to SCE.
Smaller disruptions were reported in other communities, including El Cerrito, just south of Corona, where 160 SCE customers were in the dark, and in Mead Valley, just west of Perris, where an outage was affecting 66 households, the utility said.
Winds in the Riverside metropolitan area turned fierce about 3 a.m., and as of 10 a.m., Riverside Municipal Airport was reporting northerly winds averaging 22 mph and gusting to 45 mph. Blowing dust was also shrouding the field.
In Palm Springs, winds were milder, averaging 15 mph and gusting to 25, according to Palm Springs International Airport. Meanwhile, in Temecula, they were blowing between 15 and 23 mph.
SCE announced the possibility of public safety power shutoffs, during which utilities are authorized to preemptively deactivate lines in fire-prone areas. However, as of 10 a.m., the utility had not taken such precautionary measures in Riverside County.