"We do appreciate customers' patience, and we want to get lights back on as quickly as possible," Morris said.

Sonoma County seemed to bear the brunt of the winds, but in PG&E's Humboldt division, which includes Humboldt, Lake and Mendocino counties, 4,100 households were without power late Thursday night, Morris said. But the weather took a toll there too. At one point, four roads in Potter Valley were closed due to downed power lines.

Heavy winds and power failures were reported throughout the Bay Area, with Sonoma County and the East Bay being particularly hard-hit.

Trees were down throughout the region. In Petaluma, a tree reportedly fell on a car driving down Highway 101, fouling traffic during the evening commute.

At a little after 7 p.m. in Santa Rosa, a woman outside the Fourth Street Verizon stared, downcast, in the direction of her Dodge van as the wind whipped leaves across the parking lot.

A large tree had fallen on the van, and she was waiting for the fire department to return so that she could retrieve her keys. She said it had seemed like any other windy Sonoma County day until she left Verizon and saw her car.

"I've had a lot of bad luck lately; I think I need to get baptized again or something," said the woman, who only gave her first name, Karen.

In Sonoma, a large pine tree fell in the driveway of the bed and breakfast Darlene Anderson manages.

"It missed my car by four feet," she said. "I've never seen winds this extreme, and I'm a native Californian."

Emergency officials said the wind kept them busy throughout the night but that it hadn't led to any major fires or accidents by 9:30 p.m.

"It seems like everywhere we turn there's trees and power lines coming down," said CHP Officer Blair Hardcastle.

The National Weather Service issued a high wind advisory lasting through 10 a.m. Friday.

You can reach Staff Writer Jamie Hansen at 521-5205 or jamie.hansen@pressdemocrat.com.