Heavy Winds Knock Down Trees, Spark Delays and Outages

Service has been restored to about 140,000 PG&E customers throughout the Bay Area affected by power outages related to high winds Tuesday, PG&E officials said.

As of 8 p.m., around 170,000 customers were impacted by power outages throughout the region, with an estimated 31,000 customers without service, utility officials said.

A majority of those still without power were in the South Bay where about 13,000 customers were impacted, according to PG&E officials.

Crews are working to restore service to 8,000 customers in the East Bay, 2,000 customers without power in San Francisco, about 3,000 customers impacted in the Peninsula and roughly 5,000 customers in the North Bay, according to utility officials.

PG&E has about 1,500 personnel out working to clear downed vegetation and lines and restore service.

"We are still seeing windy weather and I think we'll be seeing that all day," utility spokeswoman Brittany McKannay said. "We're going to continue to see outages today and we're going to be continuing to restore them into the evening."

The blustery storm also caused dozens of trees to topple over, including one on Interstate 80 in Vallejo. The downed tree temporarily shut down both directions Tuesday afternoon after it took down power lines and sparked a small fire.

The California Highway Patrol said just before 3 p.m. a large eucalyptus tree came down across the eastbound lanes of the freeway, near East Admiral Callaghan Lane. In addition, the tree caused four non-injury vehicle collisions.

At 4:05 p.m., CHP re-opened westbound lanes on the freeway and one eastbound lane.

The high winds also caused problems with BART service as well. Trains ran at reduced speeds due to weather conditions, agency officials said.

BART officials just after 1 p.m. reported a system wide delay in both directions due to debris in the track ways from the high winds.

Two large trees later in the afternoon fell on BART tracks between the Balboa Park and Glen Park stations in San Francisco, bringing service to a halt in the area, according to BART officials.

Service was also stopped in both directions between Daly City and the 24th Street Mission station in San Francisco due to the blockage, which was reported around 1:15 p.m., according to BART spokesman Jim Allison.

The windy conditions also canceled more than 100 flights at San Francisco International Airport. The airport on Tuesday put in effect a "delay program" of about 90 minutes from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

"That doesn't mean all the flights are delayed, but there could be some," SFO duty manager Bob Rotiski said.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for Tuesday for all coastal and valley locations of the San Francisco Bay Area as well as Santa Cruz County.

The advisory began at noon and extends to noon Wednesday.

Winds will be the strongest in the hills of the North Bay and East Bay and the strongest winds will start late Tuesday afternoon and go through Tuesday night.

The weather service is predicting sustained north to northeast winds of 20 to 30 mph for the area, with gusts up to 45 mph.

The winds may cause trees and power lines to fall, resulting in power outages and make driving difficult, especially on bridges and especially for high profile vehicles.

Winds are expected to gradually subside Wednesday.

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