Windstorm Restoration Efforts Nearly Complete for SCE; Crews Finishing Work on Few Remaining Outages

January 10, 2003

January 10, 2003

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Jan. 10, 2003-Southern California Edison crews are in the final stages of restoring power to the few remaining customers who have had their electric service interrupted by this week's severe windstorm, the second-worst in company history.

As of 9 a.m., approximately 540 of SCE's 4.3 million customers were without power because of the wind.  These few customers are in Orange County and the Inland Empire.  More than 300 of those customers have been without power more than 48 hours, mostly in Orange County.

Most of the customers currently without electric service are expected to have power by Friday afternoon. 

All told, more than 935,000 customers suffered some kind of interruption, from flickering lights to outages lasting days, due to the high winds that wreaked havoc on SCE's infrastructure.  At the height of the storm, an estimated 250,000 customers were without power.

"This has been a trying time for many of our customers, especially the ones who endured outages lasting days, and we greatly appreciate their patience," said Richard Rosenblum, SCE senior vice president of transmission and distribution.  "We're also very grateful for the assistance from Pacific Gas & Electric."

The gale-force winds blew many trees into SCE's power lines, toppling or severely damaging more than 300 poles.  Wire was brought down at nearly 7,000 locations across the southland due to the winds. 

More than 350 of its own crews and "troublemen" spearheaded SCE's restoration efforts.  They were aided by 101 contract crews and 28 crews from PG&E, SCE's neighbor utility to the north.

SCE's two telephone centers reported receiving more than 132,000 calls related to the windstorm and approximately 300,000 calls overall between Sunday and Thursday.  At the height of the storm, nearly 11,000 customer calls were received in a single hour.

"The crews have worked well and quickly under very trying circumstances to restore power to our customers, and I congratulate them on a very difficult job well done," said Rosenblum.

While service has been restored on the circuits, repairs are continuing, and there still may be individual spot outages.  In such cases, customers should contact SCE at the telephone number on their electric bill or in their telephone directory, or by calling (800)-611-1911.

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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.