WInd and the Sacramento Trees


* WHAT...Southeast winds 35 to 45 mph with gusts up to 60 mph expected.

* WHERE...Sacramento Valley, Carquinez Strait and Delta, Northern San Joaquin Valley, and the surrounding foothills.

* WHEN...8 PM this evening to noon PST Wednesday.

* IMPACTS...Damaging winds will blow down Sacramento trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are expected. Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.

A menacing and massive winter storm, fueled by an “atmospheric river” from the north Pacific Ocean, has reached the Sacramento region on Tuesday night.

The extreme storm is bringing heavy winds, near-freezing rain and dangerous driving conditions to the Valley floor; even at low elevations, snow is falling in several low elevations in Northern California.

The storm, as advertised, has made its presence felt across the capital region Tuesday evening. Just after 11 p.m. about 76,000 customers of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District were without power, mostly due to power lines being knocked down by tree branches or the wind. A number of outages were being sparked by blowing transformers as well, according to the utility.

“Mother nature is dealing us a rough hand tonight,” SMUD said in its most recent update. “We’ve got all hands on deck to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. Thanks for your patience as we continue to assess the outages throughout the night.”

According to SMUD’s outage page, about 15,000 homes and businesses in Carmichael and 25,000 customers in Arden Arcade were offline. Further north, 3,000 customers in North Highlands were out as winds at McClellan Airfield gusted to 61 mph.

Nearly every corner of the county was affected, including Rio Linda, Citrus Heights, Folsom, Sacramento, Elk Grove, Galt and Herald, to name a few.

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