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Roaring winds overnight, but no wildfires in Napa County as PG&E begins process of restoring power

  • Updated
Calistoga power outage

Homes and businesses on the west side of Calistoga were without power Monday as part of PG&E's pre-emptory shutdown Sunday affecting 11,026 Napa County customers. Some businesses brought in generators. Calistoga Dental Group was closed.

Winds swirled Sunday night across the Napa Valley with gusts exceeding 80 mph atop the western ridge, but Cal Fire reported at daybreak Monday that no fires had been reported.

Because of the dangerous combination of high winds and extremely dry vegetation, Pacific Gas & Electric had cut the power late Sunday afternoon to 11,026 customers in Napa County to prevent possible damage to its equipment from igniting wildfires.

PG&E announced at mid-day Monday that it had begun restoring power in some areas where it was safe to do so, with the majority of customers to have their electricity back by Tuesday evening.

The utility said its crews would be inspecting over 17,000 miles of lines to ensure that no damage or hazards exist before the lines can be re-energized. Service restoration may be delayed in areas where lines must be repaired.

In Napa County, PG&E recorded maximum sustained winds of 54 mph, with a peak gust of 82 mph in elevated areas.

Overnight winds littered local roads with branches and blown leaves, with some trees reported knocked over.

The National Weather Service said the winds should weaken on Napa Valley’s flatlands Monday morning, but persist in the hills until Tuesday morning. The National Weather Service has called a Red Flag warning for the hills until then.

Because of the Diablo winds sweeping over most of Northern California, PG&E’s peremptory power shutoffs were applied to 361,000 customers in portions of 36 counties. The utility was able to remove another 84,000 customers from the list due to last-minute changes in the forecast.

Sunday’s shutoffs largely exempted the valley’s population centers but did affect homes and businesses on the west side of Calistoga.

This offshore wind event is the strongest of the season, and the most powerful since the winds that powered the local wildfires of October 2017, the National Weather Service said.

The Napa Fire Department quickly doused a small vegetation fire on the west side of Imola Avenue’s Maxwell Bridge that was reported at 6:30 a.m. Monday. The smell of smoke triggered calls from alarmed residents nearby.

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