About 29,000 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers across the city remained without power late Wednesday morning, and another 3,910 Southern California Edison customers in communities outside Los Angeles were in the dark as a result of a windstorm that wreaked havoc in Southern California, downing power lines.
At the peak of the outage, 49,000 LADWP customers were without power. As of about 6 a.m., the number of customers offline was around 33,000, and by about 11:30 a.m., that figure had decreased to about 29,000, the utility reported.
“Our electrical distribution system was hit hard by damaging winds and there are over 15 locations with wires down,” the DWP tweeted early Wednesday. “Please be careful near downed power lines. Treat every line as (if) it is live and call 911.”
Power outages were reported over a vast and far-flung area. By late Wednesday morning, most of the affected areas were in the Metro portions of the city south of the Hollywood Hills, including portions of South L.A., Mar Vista, Mid-Wilshire, East-Hollywood, Hyde Park, Green Meadows and Koreatown, according to an LADWP statement.
“While winds have subsided, making for better working conditions for crews out in the field, we continue to receive new reports of downed power lines and other wind-related outages that occurred overnight and went unnoticed or unreported until this morning,” the utility reported.
Customers were advised to expect to be without power for between 12 to 24 hours. Some outages could be restored much quicker, while others may take longer, the DWP said.
DWP representative Sylvia Beltran said that it i crucial for repair crews to determine the cause of an outage affecting a particular circuit before attempting to restore electrical service. For example, Beltran said, when a crew encounters a downed power line, the parameters of that repair are self-evident. However, circuits can shut down for various other reasons, and the cause must be diagnosed before a crew can re-energize the circuit safely in order to prevent creating further damage, she said.
Downed trees were reported throughout the region, including one affecting power on Lookout Mountain Avenue between Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Horseshoe Canyon Road. In Westwood, a tree fell onto an apartment building in the 500 block of Felton Avenue in Westwood, damaging the roof of the building, but not forcing any residents to evacuate.
A high wind warning that had been scheduled to be in effect in the San Gabriel Mountains until 3 Wednesday morning was extended for several hours. The warning, which denotes an expectation of 58-mile-per-hour gusts, was to be immediately followed by a less serious wind advisory, which indicates winds of 35 mph until 11 a.m. Thursday.
Northwest winds of 25 to 40 mph were whipping across the San Gabriels, accompanied by 70-mph gusts, according to the National Weather Service. Those winds will give way to north-to-northwest winds of 20-30 mph, with gusts of up to 50 mph through Thursday morning, the weather service said.
The NWS noted that winds that strong “may down trees and power lines, causing property damage or power outages. Cross winds can make driving difficult, especially for drivers of high-profile vehicles and vehicles towing trailers,” adding that the strongest winds in the San Gabriels were blowing through the Interstate 5 corridor.
Slightly tamer winds were reported across much of the rest of L.A. County. A wind advisory was in effect until 3 a.m. in the Santa Monica Mountain Recreational Area, Santa Catalina Island, L.A. County beach cities, metropolitan L.A., the Hollywood Hills, and the San Fernando, Santa Clarita, San Gabriel and Antelope valleys. The wind in most of the wind advisory zone was recorded at 20-30 mph with 45-mph gusts, with 55-mph gusts in the Antelope Valley.
As the winds kicked in Tuesday night, the NWS reported gusts of 66 mph in Sandberg in the San Gabriel Mountains, 52 mph on San Clemente Island, 49 mph in Malibu, 48 mph in the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys, 47 mph in Castaic, 46 mph in the Antelope Valley, and 36 mph in the Malibu Hills.
The high winds generated high surf through the morning at beaches in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
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