Brisk lake wind gusts start off work week |

Brisk lake wind gusts start off work week

Jeff Munson

High wind and surf was the order of the day on Monday as wind gusts snapped branches, caused at least one power outage and forced many boat enthusiasts off the lake.

The National Weather Service in Reno issued at Lake Wind Advisory at 9 a.m. Monday after sustained winds of 20 mph and gusts of up to 40 mph dotted the lake with whitecaps throughout much of the day.

Sustained winds of 20 mph with gusts of up to 30 mph are expected to continue today as a cold front moving into the Pacific Northwest is expected to drop down into Northern Nevada and the Sierra today, said Weather Service Forecaster Shane Snyder.

Temperatures will be about five degrees cooler today than Monday, with highs in the low 70s. A warming trend, however, should drive temperatures back up to the lower 80 degrees by this weekend, Snyder said.

Wind gusts snapped tree branches on the South Shore, but no serious damage was reported. About 40 homes on Lower Kingsbury went without power for about an hour, from 9 to 9:55 a.m. after a tree branch fell on power lines, said Karl Walquist, Sierra Pacific Power spokesman.

Shortly before 5 p.m. telephone lines were reported down on West Way near Camp Richardson. At 5:07 p.m. there was a report of a tree that fell on Wildwood Avenue.

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Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard monitored boating activity as white caps were visible on the lake throughout much of the day. Waves averaged about a foot near the shoreline, with larger waves developing toward the middle of the lake, reported Matt Jordan, Coast Guard petty officer second class.

High winds forced some concessionaires to suspend boat rentals for the day, while other continued with business as usual.

South Lake Tahoe resident Gloria Sterna, who is an avid kayaker, said she was disturbed that at least two boat outfitters appeared to be renting paddleboats and kayaks to beachgoers at El Dorado Beach, despite the white caps and high waves.

While there are no laws on the books about watercraft use during high winds, Sterna said boat concessionaires should be more responsible.

“You don’t put a dollar in front of a tourist’s safety,” she said.