January 6, 2002

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Jan. 6, 2003-With continued strong winds predicted in the Southland, Southern California Edison is preparing to dispatch all available repair personnel Monday afternoon to work around the clock in areas affected by wind-caused power outages.

At 3:30 p.m., an estimated 50,000 SCE customers were without power, most of them in foothill communities, such as Arcadia, the Inland Empire, and hard-hit areas of Orange County, such as Huntington Beach and the City of Orange.  SCE estimates more than 250,000 of its customers experienced wind-related power interruptions, ranging from flickering lights to outages lasting hours, since the Santa Ana winds blew into the region Sunday.

"We are prepared to keep working throughout the evening to get everyone energized again," said Ron Ferree, manager of SCE's distribution operations.  "But with the kind of damage these Santa Ana winds have brought to the Southland, some customers will likely remain without power until Tuesday, if not longer."

Customers whose service is affected should call SCE at 1-800-611-1911 or the telephone number on their bill.  As outage information is received from our field personnel SCE's automated telephone system is automatically updated in real time.  The system provides all available information, including the cause of the outage, repair efforts, and estimated restoration times.

To help customers minimize the effect of power outages, SCE offers the following advice: 

  • If you see downed lines, please call SCE and report it to the police and fire departments immediately.
  • Turn off and unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment, especially sensitive electronic equipment.
  • Make sure you have a battery-operated radio and flashlights.  Check the batteries now to make sure they are fresh.  Do not rely on candles for lighting during a power outage, since they pose a significant fire hazard. 
  • If you or someone you care for is dependent on electrically operated medical equipment, you may want to make backup power arrangements now, in case a power outage affects that equipment. 
  • Do not cook indoors with charcoal or other fossil fuels on facilities not meant for indoor use.  They can create deadly fumes if used indoors.
  • 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.

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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.