Storm causes widespread power outages

FRESNO, Calif.                   |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

Citywide, there were three separate outages, including this one near Butler and Chestnut in Southeast Fresno.

"What have you guys been doing the last few hours trying to get by without power?"

"Just with flashlights, waiting for the power to come back on."

Around 6:30 p.m., power lines were reported down in the area. Fresno fire was the first to respond. "Upon arrival, we had arching lines and a couple of bushes on fire and had charged lines down on the ground in front of several of the residences. We made contact with occupants with several of the residents and told them to stay back a safe distance."

A nearby grocery store was forced to close early because of the outage, and Fresno police shut down nearby streets so PG&E crews could work on repairs.

Meanwhile, hundreds of residents remained stranded in the dark.

"I'm about this close to going to my mother's but I can't get my car out of the garage because the garage is power."

Fresno fire says they have responded to weather related calls all day, including several crashes.

As for PG&E, they called in extra crews and will work throughout the night.

"It seems like every year, the weather kind of transitions and we get ready for a new season and then we get one or two storms that come through and it catches everyone off guard a little bit."

If you are without power, fire crews want to remind people to avoid using candles. And once your power goes out, turn your appliances off in case it comes back on when you're sleeping.

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