By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Car on tree in San Diego, courtesy ECM news partner 10 News
April 30, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – High winds caused damage across East County today, with hurricane-force gusts up to 101 miles per hour recorded on Sill Hill near Cuyamaca.
In Buckman Springs, motorists trapped in a car beneath a fallen tree limb had to be rescued. Interstate 8 east of Alpine was closed temporarily due to high winds. A fallen eucalyptus tree blocked Otay Lakes Road late this morning. Most tragically, a wind-whipped fire that scorched an acre near Plaza Bonita mall killed a person, whose burned body was found near a transient camp.
Power outages occurred across East County. In Descanso, some residents were without power for 13 hours, from 6:30 a.m. until approximately 9:30 p.m., ECM correspondent Sharon Penny reports.
An SDG&E spokesman told ECM that the outages were weather related, but none were proactive (intentional). The spokesman added that SDG&E has no intention of proactively shutting off power due to fire danger unless conditions worsen.
“Major wind damage out here,” Campo resident Claudia Millerbragg told ECM.”I have two small uprooted trees and a totally torn up garden and yard. Neighbors have lost shingles off of their roofs. Fences are blown down. Damage all over the place. I was going out my front door and could not get it open because a small tree limb was blown into it.”
At Lindbergh Field, planes had difficulty landing due to the high winds, though on Mission Bay, wind surfers savored the wild rides, 10 News reports.
A high wind warning remains in effect tonight. The Interagency Fire Weather Center predicts winds will decrease Thursday and return to normal on Friday. Temperatures will be hot, close to 100 in the valleys and lower foothills Thursday, with cooler but more humid weather forecast for the weekend.
So just how windy was it today? Here are the top wind gusts recorded in our county, per the National Weather Service:
TOP 20 WIND GUSTS WEDNESDAY BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND 2 PM
SILL HILL 101 MPH 1010 AM 04/30
FREMONT CANYON 94 MPH 1051 AM 04/30
BUCKMAN SPRINGS 87 MPH 0910 AM 04/30
PLEASANTS PEAK 85 MPH 1100 AM 04/30
CRESTWOOD 76 MPH 0800 AM 04/30
WEST SANTA YSABEL 75 MPH 0900 AM 04/30
CAMPO 75 MPH 0902 AM 04/30
HIGHLAND SPRINGS 75 MPH 0916 AM 04/30
ALPINE (4 E) 72 MPH 0710 AM 04/30
BOULDER CREEK 72 MPH 1020 AM 04/30
ONTARIO AIRPORT 70 MPH 1051 AM 04/30
DESCANSO (4 N) 70 MPH 0935 AM 04/30
LUCKY FIVE RANCH 69 MPH 1000 AM 04/30
SUNRISE HIGHWAY 69 MPH 0830 AM 04/30
ALPINE 69 MPH 0652 AM 04/30
NORTH BOULDER CREEK 69 MPH 1000 AM 04/30
LA POSTA 69 MPH 0850 AM 04/30
VIEJAS GRADE 69 MPH 0700 AM 04/30
NORTH DESCANSO 67 MPH 1000 AM 04/30
INAJA PARK (SANTA YSABEL) 66 MPH 0910 AM 04/30