Updated: 4 p.m. Wednesday.
The power is back on for most of the approximately 3,500 customers who were reported to be without power in various parts of San Diego County early Wednesday afternoon, including more than 1,200 in and around Rancho Bernardo. By 2 p.m., the number had fallen to about 2,270 and by 4 p.m. only 17 customers in the RB area were said to still be without power.
An outage affecting 1,276 customers was reported just after 1 p.m. in the areas North Poway/Green Valley, Rancho Peñasquitos, Rancho Bernardo and San Pasqual. By 4 p.m., the outage tally had dwindled to just 17 customers with an estimated complete restoration time of 7:30 p.m., pushed back from an earlier projection fo restoration by just after 4 p.m.
San Diego Gas and Electric notified customers in some areas—such as parts of Alpine—Tuesday that their power could go out Wednesday due to high winds.
"We encouraged customers to prepare with flashlights, extra batteries and a phone that doesn't require electricity," said spokeswoman April Bolduc on Wednesday. "We've staged crews throughout the areas of highest winds, and of course that changes throughout the day."
The Rancho Bernardo-area outage was said to be caused by a suspected problem in the underground (not overhead) electrical system, according to SDG&E's power outage map.
The National Weather Service issued a for most of San Diego county for Wednesday, 3 a.m. to 6 p.m., due to expected high winds and low humidity that created a "high risk of wildfire." Following suit, a 12-acre wildfire—thought to be a product of arson—burned west of Rancho Bernardo on Wednesday morning. [.]
Bolduc said that because the Weather Service has re-evaluated the winds and they are not expected to go over 50 mph, the conditions are not expected to exceed the design limits of SDG&E's overhead electricity system.
"The design standards are 56 mph for wood poles and 85 mph for steel poles," she said.
Several areas near the San Diego county mountains have had or are currently experiencing power outages. They include Lakeside, Cuyamaca, Descanso, Santee, El Cajon, Fletcher Hills, parts of southeastern Alpine, Viejas, northeastern Fallbrook, Rincon, Pala and Bonsall. Ramona had a power outage Tuesday night.
The cause of many of these outages is listed as "suspected problem in the overhead electrical system." SDG&E's Erin Coller told Patch that some of the problems could have been caused by the winds but the exact nature of the causes is still under investigation. SDG&E did not shut off power to any customers in the county, Coller said.
SDG&E has replaced some of its wood poles with steel poles throughout San Diego county.
To report an outage, call SDG&E at 800-611-7343.
RB Patch Editor Shauntel Lowe contributed to this report.