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Dramatic Lightning Strikes Knock Out Power, Down Trees Across Sonoma County

HEALDSBURG (CBS SF) -- Rumbling thunder, wind and dramatic lightning strikes made the early morning hours in Sonoma County feel a lot more like the Midwest, on Monday. The storm knocked out power for residents in Healdsburg, and downed trees in Santa Rosa.

In Santa Rosa, 14-year-old Jason Majors was in his room when a mighty oak tree lost one of its limbs during the storm. He and his mom got out quickly. "

Wow! A tree just fell through my bathroom and it was right next to me," says Majors.

Across town, Rachel Grossmann's house took a tree, too.

"Pretty scary with all the thunder and lightning that has been happening," said Grossmann.

The giant tree crashed through into her kitchen. Luckily, like Majors, she was in a different part of the house.

PG&E says that at one time, there were 15,000 customers without power but by Monday afternoon all but 600 had their power restored.

The Healdsburg Police Department was inundated with calls all morning regarding the power outage and was urging residents to leave 911 and police lines open for emergencies only. Officials said the city had lost its transmission feed from PG&E and was awaiting PG&E to re-energize this line.

The National Weather Service said a strong thunderstorm near was moving north from Point Reyes Station at 35 mph and wind gusts of up to 50 mph were possible with frequent lightning and small hail.

Weekend lightning strikes are responsible for sparking a series of wildfires across the Bay Area. On Monday, a strong cell passed through Napa and Sonoma counties causing a fire near Lake Berryessa.

Other cities impacted by the thunderstorm include Petaluma, Rohnert Park, San Anselmo, Fairfax, Point Reyes Station, Tomales, Roseland, Dillon Beach and Stinson Beach.


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