Southern California Edison Crews Hampered by Severe Winds; Repairs Being Slowed Down by Massive Debris

December 01, 2011

2 p.m. PST, Dec. 1, 2011
Contact: Media Relations, (626) 302-2255

Severe winds and debris are hampering power restoration efforts by Southern California Edison (SCE) crews, and customers without power should prepare for the possibility of being without service overnight and possibly longer.

High winds have knocked down thousands of trees and strewn debris across wide areas, limiting and, in some cases, preventing access to equipment. Hundreds of personnel with SCE have assessed damages throughout its 50,000-square-mile service territory. Crews are working to restore service as safely and quickly as possible in areas where they have access.

As of 1 p.m. PST today, SCE had 226,053 customers without service.

High winds are forecast for tonight, which could result in more power outages and damage similar to what the region experienced today.

If you see a downed line or dangling wire — even if it appears not to be live — don’t touch or approach it and call 911 immediately.

Hardest hit areas

The hardest hit areas as of 1 p.m. today were: San Gabriel, San Bernardino, Alhambra, Altadena, Arcadia, El Monte, La Cañada Flintridge, Monrovia and Sierra Madre.

Also heavily impacted were San Marino, Temple City, El Segundo, Long Beach, Torrance, Upland, Crestline, Barstow and Sun City.

Safety reminders

With high winds forecast, SCE wants to remind its customers to be prepared in case of weather-related outages and suggests:

  • 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.
  • Make sure you have a battery-operated radio and flashlights. Check the batteries to make sure they are fresh. Use flashlights for lighting during a power outage; do not use candles because they pose a significant fire hazard.
  • 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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Southern California Edison Crews Hampered by Severe Winds; Repairs Being Slowed Down by Massive Debris