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No Major Damage : Winds Rush In; Power Goes Out

February 18, 1988|ANDREA ESTEPA | Times Staff Writer

Winds gusted to 28 m.p.h. in the City of San Diego and to 60 m.p.h. in San Diego County mountains Wednesday, causing scattered power outages but no major damage.

About 20,000 San Diego Gas & Electric Co. customers in San Diego and Orange counties were without electricity for several hours beginning at 6:30 a.m. The outages were caused by trees and branches being knocked into power lines by the winds, company spokesman Tom Murnane said.

Most of the outages occurred in North County, with Carlsbad, Fallbrook, Vista, San Marcos and Oceanside hit the hardest. A number of customers in the North Park area were also affected. Murnane said all power was restored by 11:30 a.m.

"It wasn't severe," he said. "It was minor compared to what we had earlier this year."

The California Department of Transportation reported wind warnings on Interstate 8 from El Centro to the Arizona border, but no roads in the area were closed and the California Highway Patrol reported no wind-related accidents on the freeways.

A small-craft advisory went into effect at 2:30 p.m., but the U.S. Coast Guard reported no offshore incidents.

The winds were caused by a Santa Ana condition that swept into the area early Wednesday morning. They were expected to die down during the evening hours, said Ray Robben of the National Weather Service.

The weather service predicted temperatures would fall Wednesday night, dropping into the 40s in San Diego and into the 20s in the inland valleys. A frost advisory was issued for Wednesday night and was expected to remain in effect tonight and Friday night.

At the beaches, waves reached heights of two to four feet but lifeguards reported no problems.

A spokeswoman for the San Diego Zoo said that while the zoo suffered no damage, the Skyfari tram, which takes visitors on aerial tours of the zoo, was closed for the day.

"When it gets windy, the trams tend to blow too much, so we shut it down," said Jackie Anderson.

Gusty winds are expected to make a comeback Friday when a new Santa Ana condition moves into the area, forecasters said.

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