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The Latest: PG&E busy restoring power after wind cuts

FILE - In this Oct. 14, 2017, file photo, PG&E crews work on restoring power lines in a fire ravaged neighborhood in an aerial view in the aftermath of a wildfire in Santa Rosa, Calif. Northern California's biggest utility has taken the unprecedented step of cutting electricity for tens of thousands of customers in an attempt to prevent wildfires amid rising winds and official warnings on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, of extreme fire danger. Pacific Gas & Electric began turning off the lights in California's wine country north of San Francisco and Sierra Nevada foothills east of Sacramento Sunday night. The utility said at least 87,000 customers had their power turned off and that more could be put in the dark depending on the weather. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on tens of thousands of people losing power in California because of wildfire danger (all times local):

8:15 p.m.

California utilities are restoring electricity to tens of thousands of people after intentionally cutting their power because of concerns about high winds.

Pacific Gas and Electric shut off power Sunday preemptively because of concerns about high fire danger. Authorities have blamed downed PG&E power lines for sparking some of the state’s most destructive fires.

The utility said about 60,000 customers in the North San Francisco Bay Area and the Sierra region lost power but most were expected to have it back before Tuesday morning after lines had been checked.

In the south, San Diego Gas & Electric cut power Monday morning to more than 300 customers but restored it by evening.

High winds are expected to buffet Southern California again Tuesday and more power cuts are possible. ___

4:30 p.m.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company officials say they hope to restore power by midnight Monday to 70 percent of the Northern California customers who had their power proactively turned off because of concerns about winds.

PG&E says it notified nearly 100,000 customers that they might lose power as it took precautions intended to help prevent wildfires. The company says about 60,000 customers in all lost power in the North San Francisco Bay Area and the Sierra region.

The utilities announced plans to shut power preemptively as red flag warnings for increased fire danger went up across California.

Authorities have blamed PG&E power lines for sparking some of California’s most destructive wildfires.

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1:20 p.m.

The chef of an iconic California wine country restaurant is planning a block party to feed the “stressed out” community if power isn’t restored soon.

All Seasons chef Kevin Kathman in Calistoga said about $12,000 worth of food will spoil Monday if his refrigerators remain out of service.

Rather than toss the food, Kathman said he will grill over fire and tap warming kegs of beer for worried neighbors, including winery owners in the middle of their annual grape harvest.

Kathman says he understands Pacific Gas & Electric’s new strategy of cutting power when weather conditions heighten the wildfire risk.

But he questions the need to cut power now, saying there was almost no wind blowing in Calistoga.

Authorities have blamed PG&E power lines for sparking some of California’s most destructive wildfires.

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12:30 p.m.

San Diego Gas & Electric became the second California utility to shut off power to some customers as a precautionary measure to prevent wildfires amid lashing winds throughout the state.

Spokesman Wes Jones said Monday that electricity was turned off to about 360 customers in foothill areas near Cleveland National Forest, where wildfires have scorched large swaths of land in recent years.

Pacific Gas & Electric turned out the lights on tens of thousands of customers in Northern California wine country and nearby counties.

The utilities announced plans to shut power preemptively as red flag warnings for increased fire danger went up across California.

Authorities have blamed PG&E power lines for sparking some of California’s most destructive wildfires.

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11:15 a.m.

Some California residents who had their power shut off as a precaution against wildfires say they did not get proper warning ahead of the widespread outage.

Ice cream shop owner Stewart Munnerlyn said he was scrambling Monday to borrow a generator from a customer. His ice creamery in Pine Grove, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Sacramento, lost power Sunday night.

He says he stands to lose about $8,000 worth of ice cream and would have liked more notice from Pacific Gas & Electric.

Munnerlyn says he got text messages over the weekend saying power might be shut off for wildfire safety. But he says he never received a definitive message about an outage.

The utility has shut power to tens of thousands of customers, an unprecedented step to prevent downed power lines from starting a wildfire. PG&E says nearly 90,000 customers lost power in more than a dozen Northern California counties.

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10:55 a.m.

Officials say a tree toppled by strong winds sweeping parts of California has killed a motorist.

Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito says a eucalyptus tree fell on the woman’s car early Monday in an apartment complex in Tustin.

The victim was 34. No further details were released.

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7:16 a.m.

Northern California’s biggest utility has shut power to tens of thousands of customers, an unprecedented step to prevent wildfires amid rising winds and official warnings of extreme fire danger.

Pacific Gas & Electric began turning off the lights in California’s wine country and nearby counties Sunday evening and schools canceled Monday classes throughout the district.

PG&E announced earlier this year its plan to shut power preemptively after authorities blamed its power lines for sparking some of the state’s most destructive wildfires. The utility is on the hook for billions of dollars of damages and has sought to limit its wildfire liability in the courts and the Legislature.

The National Weather Service forecast winds gusting to 45 mph throughout the parched north state covered with drought-dried vegetation.

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This story has been corrected to reflect the proper spelling of Kevin Kathman, not Kathmann.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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