The lights are back on for the 2,245 customers without power in Merced, according to Denny Boyles, a PG&E spokesman. Boyles said most residents got the power back Monday night and all homes were restored by 7 a.m. Tuesday.
PG&E attributed the change in weather patterns to causing five power failures in the Merced area. “With the first significant rainfall after a dry summer, we usually see higher than normal outages,” Boyles said, adding that it’s not unusual for Merced. “But we're able to work through it pretty quickly.”
Boyles said some power poles caught fire, which is usually caused by dust that’s gathered on the line.
About 10,000 people were without power as of 10:30 a.m. Monday because of downed power poles on North Highway 59 and Yosemite Avenue. That number reduced to 2,245 by 5 p.m. Monday night. Traffic on North Highway 59 was closed for several hours because of the fallen power lines.
The wet weather is caused by two storm systems moving through the area Sunday night, according to Jim Dudley, National Weather Service meteorologist.
Dudley said there’s a chance of rain Wednesday, with a high temperature of 67 and a low of 45, but we should see drier conditions after that.
“We are expecting things to warm up slightly toward the end of the week,” he said.
Dudley forecast the following highs for the rest of the week: 67 Wednesday, 69 on Thursday and 72 on Friday.
-- Ramona Giwargis