Saturday, February 24 , 2018, 3:01 pm | Fair 59º

 
 
 
 

High Winds Cause Multiple Power Outages in Montecito

On Friday at 11:30 p.m., an extreme wind event caused a major power outage in Montecito, resulting in multiple fire department responses throughout the night.

Wind gusts surpassing 60 mph separated power lines from power poles, triggering transformer fires, and extreme power surges inside residences.  

Many residents reported loud popping noises, charred electrical outlets, and smoke inside their homes.

Montecito firefighters, along with assistance from Carpinteria-Summerland and Santa Barbara City Fire Departments, responded to a reported seven structure fires, two transformer fires and multiple residential fire alarms.  

The Southern California Edison company is currently working to restore power to the area. For updated information regarding the status of power outages, refer to their website: www.sce.com.  

During a power outage our top priority is your safety. Most importantly, stay away from downed power lines – Edison crews are specially trained to safely repair outage damage and hazards.

If your lights flicker or go out, there are steps you can take to determine whether an electric outage is happening:

» Check for blown fuses or tripped circuits that may be the cause of the loss of power. Also, see if your neighbor has power. This will help determine whether there’s an electric outage. 

» Switch off the lights (except one). You can help prevent damage to your electronics and appliances by unplugging them -- computers, stereos, televisions and air conditioners. After the electricity is restored, you can plug them in again. 

» Get updates from a battery-powered radio if it’s a storm or emergency situation. If it’s a hot day, find relief from the heat at a nearby cool center. 

» Keep a fully charged cell phone on hand. During power outages, you may lose phone service, and your cordless phone may also lose power. 

» Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. It helps keep the food cool. Before eating food items, check them for spoilage. 

» Never light fires or charcoal indoors. If you are cold during a power outage, wear multiple layers of warm clothing. 

» If you see a downed power line, do not touch it. Call 911 immediately.

Jackie Jenkins is communications coordinator for the Montecito Fire Protection District.

 
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