Thousands of Southern California Edison and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers remained without power Tuesday, and electricity for some was not expected to be restored until Wednesday.
As of Tuesday morning, there were 9,700 DWP customers without power, down from 23,000 at 9 p.m. Monday and more than 45,000 at 1 p.m. Monday, following the record-breaking heat wave that hit Los Angeles over Labor Day weekend.
“As I speak there continues to be … those who are without power, and that is something that this department sincerely regrets,” DWP Board of Water and Power Commission President Cynthia McClain-Hill said during the commission’s meeting Tuesday. “We had crews that were out, as I understand it, doing 16-hour shifts … Every single resource that this department has and every resource that we could beg, borrow or steal was dedicated toward addressing this crisis.”
The estimated time of total restoration of services is 48 hours from the time an outage began, DWP spokeswoman Dawn Cottrell said. Customers who have been without power the longest were receiving top priority.
“We are doing everything we can to get everyone dealt with, both the large outages and the small outages,” DWP General Manager and Chief Engineer Marty Adams said. “We hope that we will make significant progress today and get everyone back in power as quickly as we can.”
Adams said many of the issues related to power restoration involve the need for a power line repair or a transformer that needs to be replaced.
The DWP was requesting mutual aid from nearby utilities in order to help with the high number of small outages.
“Restoring neighborhood outages affecting groups of 5-20 homes takes our crews much longer than larger circuit level or partial circuit outages where a single crew may be able to restore power to 500 to 1000+ customers in the same amount of time,” according to a statement from the utility on Monday. “In contrast, neighborhood outages typically take a single crew 4-6 hours to restore power to a much smaller group of customers.”
The statement added that DWP crews “have been working around the clock on 16-hour shifts since Saturday and will continue until every last customer is restored. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we respond to one of the worst heat storms ever to hit our city.”
SCE, meanwhile, was making progress at restoring power to thousands of customers. By about 8 a.m. Tuesday, SCE had reduced the number of customers affected in Los Angeles County to 9,800 and in Orange County to 2,500 customers.
With red flag fire conditions in the area, however, SCE warned that more than 66,000 of its customers could be subjected to Public Safety Power Shutoffs, which are implemented to help prevent wildfires from sparking.
Of those 66,000 customers, more than 8,500 are in Los Angeles County and nearly 6,500 are in Orange County.
The DWP urged people to set air conditioners to 78-82 degrees and “skip laundry and heavy appliance use.”
Those experiencing a power outage were urged to report it at www.ladwp.com/outages or by calling 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397) using the automated system.
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