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SDG&E Cuts Electricity To East County Areas As Precaution Amid Santa Ana Winds

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Electric service was cut to scattered remote sections of East County, a precaution as Santa Ana winds raked the area Saturday.

San Diego Gas & Electric crews darkened power lines to about 85 customers in Descanso, Green Valley Falls, Cuyamaca, Viejas and Boulder Creek areas to "protect public safety.'' Service was expected to be restored around 2 p.m., according to the utility's website.

A SDG&E spokeswoman told U-T San Diego Saturday's outage was the first since SDG&E implemented policy changes mandating outages during extreme wind, enacted after the 2007 wildfires.

A National Weather Service high wind warning was set to expire at 2 p.m., but will be followed by a less severe wind advisory, a forecaster said.

The Red Flag Warning was extended to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Late this morning, gusts of 44 miles per hour were recorded near Valley Center, along with a temperature of 73 degrees and 9 percent relative humidity.

Gauges registered 40 mph gusts on Spangler Peak near Ramona where it was about 75 degrees with 8 percent relative humidity, according to National Weather Service remote observations.

A NWS high wind warning called for areas of northeast winds of 20-30 mph with gusts of up to 60 mph in the valleys, and 65 mph in the mountains until 2 p.m. A wind advisory is scheduled from 2 p.m. to noon Sunday, when winds of 15-25 mph are expected with gusts to 45 mph in the valleys and 50 mph in the mountains.

The Red Flag Warning for inland valley and mountain areas stated that the gusty winds combined with low humidity and warm weather "will contribute to extreme fire behavior.''

Blowing dust could impact motorists' visibility and driving could become difficult for those in high profile vehicles, along portions of Interstate 8 and state highways 78 and 79, according to the NWS.

The gusts could also lead to minor tree damage, forecasters said.

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