The Latest: People say they got scant notice of power outage

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on tens of thousands of people losing power in California because of wildfire danger (all times local):

11:15 a.m.

Some California residents who had their power shut off as a precaution against wildfires say they did not get proper warning ahead of the widespread outage.

Ice cream shop owner Stewart Munnerlyn said he was scrambling Monday to borrow a generator from a customer. His ice creamery in Pine Grove, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Sacramento, lost power Sunday night.

He says he stands to lose about $8,000 worth of ice cream and would have liked more notice from Pacific Gas & Electric.

Munnerlyn says he got text messages over the weekend saying power might be shut off for wildfire safety. But he says he never received a definitive message about an outage.

The utility has shut power to tens of thousands of customers, an unprecedented step to prevent downed power lines from starting a wildfire. PG&E says nearly 90,000 customers lost power in more than a dozen Northern California counties.


10:55 a.m.

Officials say a tree toppled by strong winds sweeping parts of California has killed a motorist.

Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito says a eucalyptus tree fell on the woman’s car early Monday in an apartment complex in Tustin.

The victim was 34. No further details were released.


7:16 a.m.

Northern California’s biggest utility has shut power to tens of thousands of customers, an unprecedented step to prevent wildfires amid rising winds and official warnings of extreme fire danger.

Pacific Gas & Electric began turning off the lights in California’s wine country and nearby counties Sunday evening and schools canceled Monday classes throughout the district.

PG&E announced earlier this year its plan to shut power preemptively after authorities blamed its power lines for sparking some of the state’s most destructive wildfires. The utility is on the hook for billions of dollars of damages and has sought to limit its wildfire liability in the courts and the Legislature.

The National Weather Service forecast winds gusting to 45 mph throughout the parched north state covered with drought-dried vegetation.

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