Southern California Edison began shutting down power to thousands of customers on Thanksgiving Day to guard against possible wildfires as strong Santa Ana winds whipped through the region.
The so-called Public Safety Power Shutoffs began early Thursday, and by 11 p.m. some 1,288 customers in Los Angeles County were without power, according to the utility’s website.
Another 25,846 customers in mostly northern L.A. County were under consideration to have their power shut down on Thursday and/or Friday, the utility reported. In Orange County, 905 customers were affected by public safety Thursday night, with another 3,103 under consideration.
A red flag warning went into effect at 2 p.m. Thursday and was expected to last until 6 p.m. Saturday for the Los Angeles County mountains and the Santa Clarita Valley.
Winds started picking up Thursday afternoon, with gusts topping out at 75 mph at the Magic Mountain Truck Trail, according to the National Weather Service. They were expected to reach 65 mph hour in the mountains and Santa Clarita Valley on Friday.
The shutoffs could continue through 3 p.m. Friday, SCE stated.
“SCE does not shut off power based only on weather forecasts — rather, based on actual conditions in the affected areas,” said SCE’s Jeff Monford, who said the power would be back on for affected customers “Hopefully, within 24 hours.”
Shutoffs are designed to reduce the risk of fires caused by electrical equipment when strong winds are forecast. Several large fires in the state have been linked to electrical equipment.
Customers can view a map of current SCE outages at www.sce.com/wildfire/psps, or call 1-800-655-4555.
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