Thousands of Carson City residents lost power Saturday through Monday, as thunder rumbled and wind gusts hit nearly 50 mph.
Nearly 2,000 customers downtown lacked power from 12:36 to 12:54 p.m. Monday, the result of a tree falling across a power line at the Curry Street substation, according to NV Energy spokesman Karl Walquist. On Sunday, about 5,000 customers were without power from 3 to 7 p.m. About 3,000 of them had service restored at 7; most of the remainder had service back by 10 p.m., Walquist said. Sunday’s outages affected Carson City and were caused by lightning strikes or high winds.
On Saturday, about 3,200 customers lacked service from about 1:30 to 5 p.m. Most had power back on by 5 p.m., and the rest had power back by 10 p.m., Walquist said. Saturday’s outage affected north Carson City and was caused by a tarp or tent flying into a power line, knocking it to the ground.
Relief from the extreme weather is on its way, said Alex Hoon, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Reno.
“After today, everything’s kind of becoming a little more normal,” he said Monday, adding, “For the rest of the week, it’s going to get drier again. It’ll be more typical Nevada summertime weather.”
The storms were caused by an area of low pressure that pushed up through California over the weekend, then hovered over Carson City on Monday, Hoon said. Wind gusts hit 32 mph in Carson City on Monday, a day after they hit 48 mph. The Weather Service received a report of hail in the Stagecoach area, Hoon said.
Northern Nevada’s thunderstorm season typically starts in May, peaking in July and August, he said.
Tom Tarulli, assistant fire chief at the Carson City Fire Department, said the department has received calls from people who heard their transformer blow and feared it was the start of a fire.
“Sometimes (losing power) creates quite the surge in your home,” he said. “They call us to come check their attic, which is good. So that keeps us quite busy.”
PARTY STAYS ON
Sunday’s storms huffed and puffed but couldn’t completely blow away the Carson City Symphony’s performance of its 29th Pops Party on the back lawn of the Governor’s Mansion.
Rain periodically pelted people listening on lawn chairs or blankets spread out just east of the large gazebo on the mansion grounds, under which performers were sheltered from the wet weather, if not always the wind.
At one point, David Bugli, the conductor, joshed about the fun of playing and hoping sheet music would stay in place.
Singer Jakki Ford, bedecked in white and wearing a summery white hat with the brim waving in the wind, did “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” with aplomb despite the wind, drawing strong applause. But when power was lost, she left the gazebo and sang “The Lady is a Tramp” sans microphone to even more applause.
Soon afterward, the concert ended and people hustled for their vehicles parked on west-side streets strewn with fallen tree limbs.
Reporter John Barrette contributed to this story.