Strong winds cause Lodi power outages
With winds hitting 47 mph, tree branch falls and hits overhead power lines
As high winds whipped through Lodi on Sunday, several residents found themselves without power throughout the day.
At 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning an outage affecting 1,187 Lodi Electric Utility customers was reported.
“Strong winds caused a tree branch to come into contact with the overhead distribution lines near Holly Drive. This caused the substation circuit breaker to open and clear the fault condition,” Lodi Electric Utility Director Jeff Berkheimer said.
Wind speeds in Lodi peaked at 47 miles per hour according to Meteorologist Dave Samuel of Accuweather, a private forecasting firm.
The utility sent staff to address the outage. They trimmed tree branches affecting a primary conductor on the 1500 block of Holly Drive.
Berkheimer said residents were notified about the outage at 7:02 a.m. through the Electric Utility’s Civic Plus platform.
“All residents were back in power at 7:52 a.m. that morning,” Berkheimer said. “With the exception of the one tree branch contacting our overhead lines due to wind, there were no other reported outages or damage to our infrastructure.”
Samuel said the wind speeds were brought on by a strong upper-level disturbance — wind speeds that form as a result of low and high-pressure differences above the ground — off the Northern California coast.
“That intensification process will also add to the storm’s cold air supply as lower heights translate to a colder airmass,” Samuel said.
Although wind speeds subsided yesterday, another upper-level disturbance is expected to blow through Lodi later this afternoon, Samuel said.
“The wind speeds are expected to settle in the 20 to 30 mile per hour range,” Samuel said.
Lodi Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services staff will monitor the wind speeds and weather reports in an effort to prevent any accidents in the cities parks.
This follows on the heels of an Oak Tree falling in the nature area of Lodi Lake, near Pig Lake, which led to the closure of the park, Parks Director Jeff Hood said.
“Once wind speeds reach 20 miles per hour we close the entry gate to the lake. Although the lake is not locked, we hope people will see the closed gates and not enter the lake,” Hood said.
The winds could also cause problems for firefighters in Sonoma County, who are trying to put a stop to the Kincade, which broke out Oct. 23. The fire grew almost 12,000 acres overnight into at least 96 structures that have been destroyed, including 40 homes, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“High winds with low humidity is expected over the next two days, which will be dangerous in parts of the state that are already experiencing wildfires,” Samuel said.
The high winds have led to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to issue a weather advisory recommending people stay indoors and avoid extended exposure outdoors — from the Smoke billowing, as a result of the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County.
“Smoke from the Kincade Fire is expected to impact the northern region of the Valley later today, and could impact the central and southern regions soon after,” Valley Air Pollution Control District said in a statement.
Smoke impacts are expected to continue until the fire is extinguished. Winds are expected to subside by Thursday, but the Valley Air Pollution Control District recommends people stay indoors to avoid being exposed to poor air quality or wildfire smoke.
Berkheimer said as the city anticipates another wind advisory, the electric utility will remain fully staffed and prepared for any situations which may arise.
“As always we urge the public to stay alert during these wind events as tree branches can fall into people’s yards and roadways creating potentially hazardous conditions,” Berkheimer said.