SCE Crews Work Through the Night After Lightning Strikes Visalia Substation

Tens of thousands of customers had their power restored by this morning and crews thanked them for their patience.

August 20, 2013 | By Caroline Aoyagi-Stom

Crews could be seen working through the night after lightning struck a major Southern California Edison (SCE) substation in Visalia at around 7 p.m. Monday night causing a fire that was quickly put out. By Tuesday morning, tens of thousands of customers affected by the storm had their power restored.

More than 40 SCE crews and over 200 personnel, many of them coming from other regions, worked through the night and the crews thanked customers in the cities of Visalia and Tulare for their patience. Crews are continuing to work quickly and safely to make repairs to get the remaining 1,200 customers’ power back up of the original 120,000.

Because of the widespread damage caused by lightning, rain and wind, SCE does not currently have an estimated restoration time for the remaining customers in the San Joaquin area. SCE’s Outage Center map and list of outages for the area (available on will be updated when restoration times are available.

Customers in the Visalia area thanked SCE crews for working through the night and showed their support via Twitter and Facebook.  Felicia Fjeld @FleatLyn wrote: “Make sure you guys are getting some rest! We’re thankful for all that you’re doing, but you guys deserve rest too.”

Monica @moniveee wrote: “thank you SO much the NW side of Visalia just got power!!!! Great teamwork your men deserve a long break after tonight lol” and Lindsay Daniel said: “thank you for your hardworking team. So glad to have power back in Hanford!”

Overnight, SCE’s Twitter account had more than 930 mentions and 919 new followers. Here are some more messages from SCE customers in the Visalia area:

SCE will provide updates as they become available and reminds customers to never approach or touch a downed power line and call 911 immediately.

Other safety tips to keep in mind include:

  • Watch for traffic signals that may be out. Approach those intersections as four-way stops.
  • Do not use any equipment inside that is designed for outdoor heating or outdoor cooking. Such equipment can emit carbon monoxide and other toxic gases.
  • To prevent loss of data and/or damage to your sensitive electronic equipment, consider surge suppressors or shut off or disconnect all such equipment until power has been restored. This will protect against electrical events that can accompany outages or that can occur during service restoration.
  • 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.
  • Leave the doors of your refrigerator and freezer closed to keep your food as fresh as possible. Place blocks of ice inside to help keep food cold. Check food carefully for signs of spoilage.
  • Check on your neighbors to make sure everyone is safe.

For safety tips, see Customers also can visit to report and stay informed regarding outages, and to find additional information regarding SCE's response to service disruptions. This information is also accessible on SCE's mobile app.

Topics: Customer Service