Winter storms, more outages? |

Winter storms, more outages?

More than 8,000 Douglas homes and businesses got a preview Saturday of what may happen when high winds arrive in Western Nevada this week.

A tree hitting a transmission line is being blamed for a power outage that knocked out electricity to 8,363 homes and businesses.

NV Energy spokeswoman Kristen Saibini said the outage hit about 8:45 p.m.

Traffic lights along Highway 88 at the junction with 395 and Mottsville Lane were affected, as were the lights along Highway 395 north of Minden.

Saibini said the Muller substation was re-energized at 8:56 p.m. decreasing the number of customers without power to 4,468, most of whom were at Lake Tahoe.

Power was restored to the majority of customers by 11:43 p.m., when all but two customers were left without power until 3:34 a.m.

One of the locations was the substation along Muller Lane just west of the Minden-Gardnerville Sanitation Pond.

Firefighters responded to two calls for the smell of smoke, including one at Ironwood Cinema. The theater was evacuated and firefighters reported a slight smell of smoke in the projector room.

As of 9:10 p.m., the power company reported electricity would be restored by 11:30 p.m. for those customers who were still out.

While calm in Carson Valley around the time of the outage, a wind gauge at Kahle Drive recorded a 27 mph gust at 8:20 p.m., just before the power went out.

Valley and Tahoe residents should expect further outages related to weather on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning as high winds are forecast.

The National Weather Service issued a high-wind watch for Tuesday night through noon Wednesday.

Wind gusts of 50-60 mph increasing to up to 80 mph in wind-prone areas, are expected through the night.

Forecasters are warning residents to make sure they have extra food and water, flashlights or candles in case of an outage.