Credit: Joseph Foulk

Santa Ana Winds Prompt SCE Public Safety Power Shutoffs in Some Southland Areas

Power in these communities will be restored once weather conditions improve and crews inspect and verify circuits can be safely energized.
Photo Credit: Joseph Foulk

Southern California Edison shut off power in parts of some communities Thursday as part of its Public Safety Power Shutoff efforts. The shutoffs were in response to Santa Ana winds this week that, combined with low humidity and dry vegetation, created elevated fire conditions throughout Southern California.

Power will be restored once conditions improve and SCE crews have completed patrolling each circuit to ensure it can safely be re-energized. The latest information on customers and communities affected can be found on SCE’s Public Safety Power Shutoff page.

“We know how disruptive a power outage can be for our customers and their communities and do not take these decisions lightly,” said SCE Incident Commander Erik Takayesu. “We are doing this out of utmost caution to protect the communities we serve.”

During a Public Safety Power Shutoff, SCE preemptively turns off the power in high fire risk areas to reduce the chance of a fire.

Earlier this week, SCE began notifying local, county, state and federal government officials, emergency management agencies, fire chiefs and impacted customers of the potential for power shutoffs.

An SCE lineman patrols power lines in Lancaster.
An SCE lineman patrols power lines in Lancaster.

Weather conditions can change, which can affect the timing and duration of a shutoff. There also may be outages due to weather and high winds but unrelated to a PSPS.

SCE crews and meteorologists continue to monitor conditions throughout SCE’s service area to identify circuits that may need to be turned off or where conditions have improved so power can be restored.

“Given the severity of the wildfires our state has experienced in the last few years, we are making our grid stronger and improving our awareness of weather conditions. But if needed to prevent a potential catastrophe, we will shut off power in the worst of these weather conditions,” Takayesu said.

Customers can be notified of power shutoffs by email, phone or text alert. They are urged to update their SCE contact information and sign up for potential PSPS alerts at sce.com/psps or by calling 800-655-4555. About 1 million customers who are in high fire risk areas have signed up, enrolling nearly 3 million customer devices to receive outage alerts.

Customers may report or inquire about outages at 800-611-1911. For information on outages, customers can check sce.com/outages or visit twitter.com/sce and facebook.com/sce.

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.