The Rio Linda area is reeling from the effects of a potent winter storm that hit on Sunday, unleashing winds exceeding 65 mph in numerous locations. This severe weather has led to fallen trees and extensive destruction throughout the area. Approximately 200,000 customers of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) lost power due to the storm.
Sunday’s high winds caused widespread power outages in Sacramento County, affecting over 177,000 customers. At its peak, 177,697 homes and businesses were without electricity. At McClellan Airport near North Highlands, a gust of 59 mph was recorded, with sustained winds at 43 mph.
The National Weather Service in Sacramento reported that downtown received 0.95 inches of rain in 24 hours by 3 p.m.
Sacramento International Airport faced significant disruptions, with 41 flight cancellations and numerous delays attributed to the winds, including 37 Southwest flights. By 4:45 p.m., there were 85 delayed flights. San Francisco International Airport experienced nearly 150 cancellations and over 300 delays after the FAA issued a ground stop due to high winds.
SMUD crews have reported over 60 downed power lines and several fallen poles, in addition to numerous trees interfering with utility infrastructure. These figures are expected to rise as further assessments are conducted.
Over 80 SMUD teams are working around the clock to survey the damage, conduct necessary repairs, and restore electricity to affected customers.
The safety of the public and repair crews is of utmost importance. High wind conditions can impede safe repair efforts for storm-related damage. SMUD is directly informing customers anticipated to be without power to allow them to prepare accordingly.
SMUD has established a prioritization system for dispatching crews during storms:
- Immediate attention to public safety hazards such as downed power lines and poles.
- Essential facilities like hospitals, critical flood control pumps, and other high-impact community infrastructures.
- Localities with large numbers of affected customers.
- More isolated, smaller-scale outages.
SMUD emphasizes safety and offers guidelines for customers during power outages:
- Check if neighboring homes are also without power to determine the scale of the outage.
- Report outages on smud.org/outages, via the SMUD mobile app, or by calling 1-888-456-SMUD (7683).
- If you’re the only one without power, consult smud.org/storms for instructions on checking/resetting your main breaker safely.
- Keep your distance and immediately contact SMUD at 1-888-456-SMUD (7683) or call 911.
- Treat the line as live. Stay away and advise others to do the same.
- Avoid attempting to clear fallen tree limbs or debris from power lines.
SMUD advises checking on relatives, friends, and neighbors who might be affected by outages.
SMUD warns against using propane heaters, grills, hibachis, or BBQs for heating during outages, as they emit carbon monoxide – an odorless, colorless gas that can be deadly.