NEW YORK (Reuters) - A storm with winds gusting up to 80 miles per hour knocked out power to more than 850,000 homes and businesses in California but the utilities restored service to most customers by Wednesday morning, power companies said.
The storm was one of the most powerful to hit California in October in decades with fierce wind gusts between 50 to 80 mph (80 to 129 km per hour) and several inches of flooding rain, said weather forecaster AccuWeather.com.
Even though the storm started moving toward the Pacific Northwest Tuesday night, AccuWeather.com warned high winds could still cause more power outages in the Sierra and northern coastal mountains of California Wednesday morning.
PG&E Corp's Pacific Gas and Electric utility said it restored power to most of the 700,000 customers who lost power leaving about 63,000 still without service Wednesday afternoon.
A spokesman for PG&E, which serves more than 15 million people in northern and central California, said the company planned to restore most service later Wednesday but those in remote areas might have to wait a few days before the power is back on.
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), which provides power to more than 590,000 customers in the state capital, said the storm knocked out power to more than 150,000 customers. SMUD restored power to all but 10,000 by Wednesday afternoon.
The California Independent System Operator Corp (Cal ISO) on Tuesday declared a transmission emergency after the heavy rain and strong winds knocked down one of PG&E's 500-kilovolt power transmission line near Moss Landing.
The grid operator said it ended the transmission emergency Tuesday night after other transmission capacity was made available.
PG&E planned to return the transmission line from Moss Landing to Los Banos later Wednesday. The line outage was not affecting customers, said a spokesman at PG&E.
Even though the downed line is not part of Path 15, the outage reduced the amount of power that could flow on Path 15 by about two-thirds, the Cal ISO said in a release.
Path 15 is a major transmission link between Northern and Southern California that can transmit up to 3,200 megawatts of power from north to south and up to 5,400 MW from south to north, according to electricity traders.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)