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High Heat, Santa Ana Winds Raise Risk Of Power Outages Across Riverside, San Bernardino Counties

FONTANA (CBSLA) — On the second day of fall, Southern California was sweltering with gusty winds and the threat of wildfires.

Southern California Edison said it was considering shutting off power to high-risk areas if weather conditions get to the point of sparking a potential wildfire. Upwards of 140,000 customers were told they could face power outages Tuesday in areas forecast to hit triple-digit temperatures.

As of 2:45 p.m., approximately 85 customers in unincorporated Beaumont and Banning were without power as SCE officials inspected lines and monitored conditions. It was not immediately clear when SCE would restore power to those customers.

"It's hard to maintain things when you have your power out," Shauna Elleman, a Banning resident, said.

Elleman said her husband had been home since SCE de-energized two circuits, cutting off power to the area.

"It's a little confusing," she said. "It's not really that windy. It gets a lot windier out here."

But Banning resident Johnny Catano said he wasn't frustrated that the power was off for going on five hours.

"I guess it's a good idea for the company, for Edison," he said. "Because if something happens they're going to blame them for everything."

Banning said after seeing the devastation from the Camp fire, he said he would rather have his peace of mind knowing that his community was a little safer.

In Los Angeles County, high desert areas like Lancaster, Palmdale and Acton were also told their power could be turned off, but the bulk of the potential power outage areas were in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

A heat advisory was in effect until 8 p.m. in the Santa Monica Mountains and the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys, advising people to beware the combination of hot temperatures and high humidity.

Gusty winds are also expected to rake the Inland Empire's mountain and foothill communities, which could see something rather new this go around – preemptive power outages.

SoCal Edison's website has a list of communities that could see its power shut off for public safety. Customers can also sign up for alerts about outages in their areas.


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