January 24, 2006

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Jan. 24, 2006—Utility repair crews will continue working through the day Tuesday—and. if needed, into the evening—to restore electric service to the 3,500 Southern California Edison customers currently without power in the wake of the windstorm that has interrupted service for more than 148,000 SCE customers since Sunday.

Many of the customers still out of service are located in foothill communities of the San Gabriel Valley, such as Altadena, Arcadia, Flintridge, and Sierra Madre.  Another 300 were without service in the Inland Empire, where the gale-force winds also wreaked havoc.  Most of those customers were in Fontana, Ontario, and San Bernardino.

“Approximately 508 of these customers have been without power for 18 hours or more,” said Ron Ferree, SCE director of grid operations.  “We’re focused on restoring power to those customers as quickly as possible.”

To expedite the restoration effort, SCE has brought in an additional 23 crews from its northern and western regions, which essentially were unaffected by the severe winds. A total of 160 SCE and contract repair crews are currently working to restore power in the Southland.

“We greatly appreciate the patience and understanding of our customers who are experiencing the inconvenience of a lengthy power outage,” Ferree said. “Our crews have worked tirelessly over the past two days and we will continue to work around the clock making repairs and restoring service.”

While the winds have diminished through most of the southland, SCE continues to offer the following advice for customers in affected areas:

  • If you see a power line on the ground, stay away, especially if it is sparking. 
  • Please call SCE to report power outages.
  • Please do not use candles for lighting, since they create a fire hazard.  Use flashlights, instead.
  • Do not use equipment designed for outdoor cooking indoors.  Such equipment can emit carbon monoxide and other toxic gases.
  • If you use a generator, please do not connect it to your household circuits.  That creates “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews.  Instead, plug individual appliances directly into the generator, using a heavy-duty extension cord.
  • Turn off all appliances and other electrical equipment, except for a single light bulb.  The light bulb will be your signal that power has been restored.  Turning off appliances helps ensure against overloading, which could delay the restoration of service.

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An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.6 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.