SCE Crews Prepared for Southern California Winds

Utility notifies customers of potential power shutoffs.
By Robert Laffoon Villegas

UPDATE, Jan 1, 12 p.m.: As a result of improving weather conditions, all cities and counties have been removed from public safety power shutoff consideration.

Southern California Edison crews have been mobilized and are now on alert to respond to possible outages due to the high winds expected to hit Southern California on Monday and Tuesday.

SCE has also activated its Emergency Operations Center and notified government officials, emergency management agencies, fire chiefs and impacted customers in the event power must be turned off to protect the public.

Due to the projected strong Santa Ana winds with some potential for fire activity, approximately 75,000 customers were notified on Sunday of possible safety power shutoffs in portions of their communities for Monday evening through Tuesday.

As of Tuesday at 12 p.m., power was shut off early Tuesday morning to approximately 35 customers, mostly commercial accounts, in an unincorporated portion of Orange County near Irvine Lake and remain off. Power is expected to be restored to these customers later in the day. 

“We will only turn the power off as a last resort to protect customers,” said SCE Incident Commander Don Daigler. “SCE recognizes this is the holiday season and will do our best to minimize the impact to customers. Still, the company’s number one priority is to protect public safety as well as the integrity of the system serving customers.”

SCE’s emergency response teams, field crews and meteorologists will continue to monitor changing weather conditions across the service territory that might be affected by dangerous high winds in designated high fire areas. SCE crews are proactively inspecting and patrolling circuits in areas that may be impacted by the possible power shutoffs.

There may be outages strictly related to weather and high winds, and unrelated to a power shutoff. If an outage occurs, power will be restored as weather permits and after crews inspect and determine it is safe to re-energize lines.

During anticipated Red Flag conditions, circuits in affected areas will not be automatically returned to service when they become de-energized. This is not a Public Safety Power Shutoff; it is simply a safety feature to help mitigate wildfire risk. Before these lines can be re-energized, they require on-site inspections which may increase service restoration times for customers.     

For the latest updates regarding this wind event, visit www.sce.com/outage-center/major-outages.  

For information regarding outages, go to sce.com/outages or visit twitter.com/sce and facebook.com/sce. Customers can also report or inquire about outages at 800-611-1911.

Power Outage Safety Tips

  • If you see a downed power line, do not touch it or anything in contact with it. Call 911 immediately.
  • Power outages in the area may impact traffic signals so motorists should use extreme caution and treat all intersections as four-way stops.
  • Remember to check emergency supplies to be sure you have a battery-operated radio, a flashlight and fresh batteries.
  •  Use flashlights instead of candles to avoid fire hazards in your home or business.
  • If you’re in a vehicle with a fallen power line on it, stay in the vehicle and remain calm until help arrives. It is OK to use your cellphone to call 911. If you must leave the vehicle, remember to exit away from downed power lines and exit by jumping from the vehicle and landing with both feet together. You must not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Then proceed away from the vehicle by shuffling and not picking up your feet until you are several yards away.
  • If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into it, using a heavy-duty extension cord. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews. Please consult the manufacturer’s manual for operating the generator.