Gusty winds Monday and overnight through Tuesday morning call for a heightened alertness of fire danger, said BFD. Photo: Pete Rosos
Weather experts are forecasting winds that could reach 55 mph around Berkeley on Tuesday and Wednesday. Photo: Pete Rosos

PG&E officials are warning that strong winds are expected to sweep Berkeley and other parts of the East Bay beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 30. They are expecting that some homes will lose power because of downed power lines.

The strong winds will accompany a cold front that has already begun to move into the Bay Area from British Columbia, according to PG&E’s East Bay Government Relations Team. The winds are scheduled to last until 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31. Temperatures are set to drop into the 20s in some Bay Area locations.

The new storm is a dry one, so not much rain is expected.

“PG&E crews have been fully alerted and will be deployed to help restore any outages as soon as possible,” according to an email alert sent out by the team.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for the storm, which was expected to come to the Bay Area on Monday night.

PG&E has sent out some safety tips:

  • Customers can call the 24-hour Outage Service Line at 800-743-5002 to report an outage or a hazardous condition, or to get the latest information on outages in their community. An outage map is online here.
  • Assume downed power lines are energized and extremely dangerous. Do not touch or try to move them — and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 911 and PG&E at 800-743-5002.
  • Do not use candles because of the risk of fire. If you must use candles, use extreme caution. Do not use candles near drapes, under lampshades or near holiday trees. Keep candles away from small children, and do not leave candles unattended.
  • If your power goes out, turn off or unplug all electric appliances; otherwise, several appliances may come back on at once and overload your circuits when power is restored. Hot appliances also pose a fire hazard if they come back on while you’re away or asleep. Leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
  • Have battery-operated radios with fresh batteries ready for updates on storm conditions and power outages.
  • Have battery-operated flashlights with fresh batteries on hand.
  • Have a cellphone or hard-wire, single-line telephone on hand. Cordless phones will not work without electricity.
  • Fill used liter-size plastic soda bottles with water and place them in the freezer. During an extended outage, transfer them to your refrigerator to prevent food from spoiling. Open the refrigerator only when necessary to keep warm air out and cooler air in.
  • If you have a generator, inform PG&E and do not use it unless it is installed safely and properly. If it is not, you risk damaging your property and endangering yourself and PG&E line workers who may be working on nearby power lines. Information on the safe installation of generators can be found on our website at

Read more weather news from Berkeleyside.

Real weather in Berkeley – time to go storm chasing (12.12.14)
Floods, outages keep Berkeley busy as storm hits (12.11.14)
Storm blog: Water mains break in Berkeley, Ashby expected to re-open by midnight (12.10.14)
Woman, 31, struck by lightning in South Berkeley (03.31.14)

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...