Power Restored to 65 Percent of Customers Who Lost Service Due to High Winds; ...

December 02, 2011

Contact: Media Relations, (626) 302-2255

Southern California Edison (SCE) so far has restored service to 65 percent of its customers who lost power because of hurricane-force winds and by Sunday night will have the lights back on for its remaining customers.

Trees and other large pieces of debris have hampered access for crews to equipment. As of 4 p.m. PST today, SCE had 131,591 customers without service. It is expected to take two more days to restore power to the vast majority of affected customers. SCE expects service to be restored to 99 percent of its customers by 8 p.m. PST Sunday.

"We understand our customers are anxious to get their lights back on, and we’re continuing to ask for their patience," said Ron Litzinger, SCE president. "The massive winds that hit Wednesday evening have created some of the worst damage we've seen in a decade and resulted in some of the most complicated restoration efforts in years. Thousands of trees blew over, damaging thousands of overhead wires and poles."

Crews are working to restore service as safely and quickly as possible where they have access. There are 217 SCE and contract crews working to restore service. SCE must wait for local governmental agencies to clear debris where it is blocking access to SCE equipment.

The extremely high winds caused considerable damage to the distribution power grid, power lines, poles and equipment.  Some restoration may require reconstruction of the downed equipment. Customers are asked to stay away from any downed or dangling lines, including those between homes and power poles. A downed line or dangling wire is dangerous — even if it appears not to be live.

SCE also is asking customers who have downed lines on or near their homes or businesses — both those that run between power poles and from poles to homes or businesses — to call 911 and stay inside to remain safe until SCE crews can repair the lines. Customers unable to reach a 911 operator quickly can call SCE customer service at (800) 655-4555.

In the San Gabriel Valley, crews are working along a corridor by the foothills, from the western cities of La Crescenta, La Cañada Flintridge, Altadena, Sierra Madre and Arcadia to the eastern cities of Duarte, Monrovia, Glendora, San Dimas and La Verne.

Photos showing the impact of the wind storm are available at: http://www.sce.com/sceandyou/recovery.htm .

Hardest hit areas

The hardest hit SCE service areas, as of 4 p.m. today, were: Arcadia, Altadena, Covina, Duarte, El Monte, La Crescenta, an unincorporated part of Los Angeles County, Montebello, Monrovia, Rosemead, San Gabriel and Temple City.

Also heavily impacted were Alhambra, an unincorporated part of East Los Angeles, Monterey Park, San Marino, Sierra Madre and West Covina.

Safety reminders

When power is out, SCE reminds its customers to:

  • Use flashlights and have a battery-operated radio. Use flashlights for lighting during a power outage; do not use candles because they pose a significant fire hazard.
  • If you know someone who is dependent on electrically operated medical equipment, make backup power arrangements in case a power outage affects that equipment.
  • Watch for traffic signals that may be out. Approach those intersections as four-way stops.
  • Do not use equipment indoors that is designed for outdoor cooking. Such equipment can emit carbon monoxide and other toxic gases.
  • Leave the doors of your refrigerator and freezer closed to keep your food as fresh as possible. An unopened refrigerator can keep foods cold enough for a couple of hours. A half full freezer will stay cold for up to 24 hours and a full freezer for 48 hours. If you must eat food that was refrigerated or frozen, check it carefully for signs of spoilage. 
  • Check on your neighbors to make sure everyone is safe.
  • If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into the generator, using a heavy-duty extension cord. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews.
     

About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.

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Power Restored to 65 Percent of Customers Who Lost Service Due to High Winds; Service to be Restored to Remaining Customers by Sunday Night