Thousands lose power on Thanksgiving in Southern California

November 25, 2021 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Thousands of people in Southern California were without power on Thanksgiving Day after utilities cut electricity to prevent their equipment from igniting wildfires amid warm and dry weather and Santa Ana winds sweeping through the region.

Strong winds in Los Angeles toppled some trees overnight that fell on homes, cars and powerlines. No injuries were reported.

Wind gusts reached up to 76 mph (122 kph) at Arrowhead Spring in San Bernardino County Thursday but they were expected to weaken by Friday when they are forecast to reach speeds of between 40 and 50 mph (64 and 80 kph), the National Weather Service said.

Nearly 64,000 customers were without power Thursday in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties and more than 150,000 others could have their power cut off, Southern California Edison said.

The critical fire weather conditions also prompted San Diego Gas & Electric to cut power to 5,000 customers, the utility said.

Red flag warnings were expected to remain in effect through much of Friday due to predicted strong gusts and very low relative humidity, forecasters said.