Update: Gusty Winds Knock Out Electricity, Topple Power Poles in The Coachella Valley

Update: Gusty Winds Knock Out Electricity, Topple Power Poles in The Coachella Valley

Ceci Partridge & City News Service

Repair crews worked Tuesday to restore power to the last of nearly 1,700 Imperial Irrigation District customers who lost power when gusty winds blew through Indio and knocked trees and 18 power poles to the ground.

A total of 1,652 customers in the eastern Coachella Valley, including Indio, La Quinta, Mecca, Thermal and Bermuda Dunes, lost power between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday due to heavy winds. Most of those customers — 1,012 – – were in and near Indio, where winds toppled electrical poles and downed left trees strewn about multiple city corridors.

About 230 customers in rural Imperial County were also affected, according to the district.

As of noon Tuesday, 142 customers in Indio were still without electricity. Those customers had been expected to have their power turned back on by that time, but the IID reported via a social media post just after noon that the repairs had not been completed.

“Additional updates to be provided in the next hour,” the post said.

Most of the other affected customers in Riverside County had their power restored by 9:30 p.m. Monday.

The Indio Police Department reported Tuesday that all affected roadways had been reopened.

 

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Gusty winds knocked out power for more than 1,000 customers in several Coachella Valley communities Monday afternoon, sending trees and at least 17 power poles to the ground in Indio.

A total of 1,012 customers in Indio, La Quinta, Mecca, Thermal and Bermuda Dunes lost power between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. due to heavy winds, according to the Imperial Irrigation District.

“We’re assessing what’s happened and were working to see what we can do to get the power back on,” said Robert Schettler, the district’s public information officer.

Customers in some communities may have to wait up to 48 hours before they see their power back on, Schettler said. Additional information regarding the restoration timeline was not provided.

Power was also out for an estimated 235 Imperial County customers, Schettler said.

Winds toppled 17 or 18 electrical poles in Indio, Schettler said. The Indio Police Department reported poles were down on Indio Boulevard at Madison Street, closing the roadway in both directions. Traffic was also affected on Highway 111 west of Las Palmas Road due to downed trees strewn about the corridor, police said.

Police did not specify when the roadways would be clear.

A wind-blown dust advisory was in place in the San Gorgonio Pass and the Coachella Valley Monday due to the strong gusts. The National Weather Service said the westerly gusts could reach 70 mph in the mountains and deserts.

Forecasters said winds will begin to die down by Monday night and should subside by Tuesday.

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