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Intense October storm causes power outages in San Luis Obispo County

A woman walks past Native Lounge in downtown San Luis Obispo as the first rain of the season hit San Luis Obispo County on Tuesday.
A woman walks past Native Lounge in downtown San Luis Obispo as the first rain of the season hit San Luis Obispo County on Tuesday. Joe Johnston

The area's first storm of the season ­- packing high winds that have knocked out power to 2,300 users in San Luis Obispo County so far ­- is expected to last through Wednesday morning.

The bulk of the lost power is affecting the North County, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. spokesman Kory Raftery said, as Templeton and Atascadero had 1,800 outages as of 10:20 a.m.

"Crews are assessing each situation now," he said. "First assessing their safety and then will be working to restore power. Many of them will have to go out into rough terrain to fix it." A southerly wind, with gusts between 26 and 33 mph, is one issue, according to the National Weather Service, and could get as strong as 47 mph. The strongest so far was 44.5 mph at 9:15 a.m., according to John Lindsey, meteorologist at Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

PG&E expects additional power outages at 1 and 4 p.m. Tuesday, Raftery said, because the weather report is suggesting the storm will "get worse and step up at each of those times."

Today's high temperatures will range from the low to high 60s with overnight lows in the mid 50s throughout the county, according to Lindsey.

Estimated rain totals will range between 1.5 and 2.5 inches along the coast and in the coastal valleys, Lindsey said, while the coastal mountains range between 2.5 to 4.5 inches.

The storm is "one of the most intense weather systems I've seen during the month of October," he added.

Tonya Strickland

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