January 6, 2003
Service to nearly 250,000 customers was affected by severe Santa Ana winds
ROSEMEAD, Calif., Jan. 6, 2003-Southern California Edison (SCE) officials said Monday that the utility would work "around the clock" to restore power to customers affected by the severe Santa Ana wind conditions that struck the southland Sunday evening. As of 11 a.m. today, approximately 40,000 SCE customers were still without power.
SCE estimates 250,000 customers in central, coastal and Southern California have experienced wind-related power interruptions, ranging from flickering lights to outages lasting hours, since Sunday evening.
SCE can utilize approximately 1,800 field and support personnel to combat power outages during extreme weather conditions. Because of the severe damage caused by the winds clocked in excess of 75 miles per hour in some areas, SCE officials cautioned that some customers would likely remain without power until Tuesday, if not longer.
SCE crews are responding to hundreds of locations where wire is down or poles have toppled. In the city of Orange alone, approximately 45 poles have toppled, while another 29 have fallen in Arcadia. When restoration efforts are completed, SCE estimates its personnel will have logged more than 20,000 work-hours related to wind damage.
"Our crews will work nonstop to restore power to all customers," said Ron Ferree, manager of SCE's distribution operations. "Our goal is to get all power restored as quickly as possible, but with damage of this magnitude some repairs won't be completed until later this week."
The National Weather Service reports the severe winds will last through at least Tuesday morning.
Storm-Related Safety Tips
Remember: Never touch a power line, even if it is on the ground. Electrical wires can cause severe burns or kill.
If possible, stay out of areas severely impacted by the wind damage. Traffic signals could be inoperative, SCE equipment such as poles could be blocking the street, and utility crews could be in the area making repairs.
Customers should keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy at all times to use if there is no electricity. Do not use candles for emergencies. When the power goes out, be sure to check all the rooms in your home. If some lights and appliances still work, then you may have blown a fuse or tripped a circuit breaker.
If the power is out in your entire home, see if your neighbor has any electricity; if not, the power is probably out in your entire neighborhood. Be sure to turn off all of the appliances you were using when the electricity went off. Leave a night light plugged in or a single light turned on so you will know when the electricity comes back on.
If the power stays out for your home or neighborhood for more than a few minutes, call SCE at (800) 611-1911. During bad storms, several customers could be calling, so please be patient.
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An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 12 million via 4.3 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California. For more information on the California electricity market, see www.sce.com.