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Winds fell trees, knock out power around North Coast, Bay Area

  • Santa Rosa Fire Capt. Jack Thompson examines a tree that was blown down Thursday night by strong winds, landing on three cars parked at a parking lot on Fourth Street in Santa Rosa. (Alvin Jornada / PD)

Winds gusting up to 45 mph toppled trees onto homes and cars and knocked out power around the North Coast on Thursday night. It came on the heels of the low-pressure storm system that brought the season's first rains.

The winds kept emergency personnel, as well as PG&E, busy throughout the night. At one point, around 7:30 p.m., as many as 28,600 households were without power around Sonoma County, and 117 separate power failures had been reported, said PG&E spokesperson Jana Morris.

Major power failures were reported in Cazadero, Guerneville, Sonoma, Geyserville and near the Montgomery Village Shopping Center in Santa Rosa. As of press time, PG&E was investigating whether downed transmission lines might have contributed to the large number of business and homes without power in west Sonoma County. The company was working to restore power to many of those areas, and the number of households without power had dropped to about 24,000 by 9:30 p.m.

Wind Damage In Santa Rosa, Bay Area

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“We do appreciate customers' patience, and we want to get lights back on as quickly as possible,” Morris said.

Sonoma County seemed to bear the brunt of the winds, but in PG&E's Humboldt division, which includes Humboldt, Lake and Mendocino counties, 4,100 households were without power late Thursday night, Morris said. But the weather took a toll there too. At one point, four roads in Potter Valley were closed due to downed power lines.

Heavy winds and power failures were reported throughout the Bay Area, with Sonoma County and the East Bay being particularly hard-hit.

Trees were down throughout the region. In Petaluma, a tree reportedly fell on a car driving down Highway 101, fouling traffic during the evening commute.

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