July 26, 2006

ROSEMEAD, Calif., July 26, 2006—Utility crews working through the night in a nonstop effort to restore service to customers has reduced the number of Southern California Edison customers without power to approximately 3,300.  The utility serves 4.7 million customers.

Approximately 1.1 million SCE customers have experienced service interruptions for varying periods, from flickering lights to extended outages, since the start of the heat wave. 

Nearly 1,000 employees and support staff have focused their efforts on restoring power to areas where customers have been without service for more than 24 hours.  Among the field crews are 24 employees from PacifiCorp, a Portland, Ore.-based utility that answered SCE’s call for mutual assistance.

SCE and contract crews have replaced more than 1,200 transformers, 104 power poles, and replaced fallen wire at more than 130 locations since the heat wave and inclement weather began July 13.

“We greatly appreciate the patience our customers have shown during this heat wave, and we’ve worked as quickly and safely as we could to get them energized,” said Ron Litzinger, SCE senior vice president for transmission and distribution.

SCE’s priority work remains restoring those customers who have been off the longest. Baring any unforeseen problems arising, the majority of these customers are expected to have their power back by late Wednesday evening.

SCE is attempting to contact those customers who have been without power the longest to give them an update on the status of the restoration effort.  SCE encourages customers who are experiencing an extended outage—more than two days—to notify the company if they haven’t previously done so.

A partial list of the communities still affected by power outages Wednesday includes:  Beverly Hills, Compton, Montebello, Signal Hill,  Whittier, Alhambra, Monterey Park, Montrose, San Gabriel, Hacienda Heights, Tulare, Brea, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Orange, Placentia, Santa Ana, Westminster, Whittier, Yorba Linda, and San Bernardino.

SCE offers the following advice for customers without power:

  • If you see a power line on the ground, stay away, especially if it is sparking. Please call SCE at 1-800-611-1911 to report a downed line.
  • 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.
  • In the event of a power outage, 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 4.7 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.