SCE Crews Keep Power Flowing During Dangerous Storms
A major storm is delivering heavy rain, flooding and wind gusts of up to 70 mph to Southern California Edison’s service area Wednesday and Thursday. The additional threats of mud and debris flow in recent burn areas and up to two feet of snow at elevations above 7,500 feet are challenging crews tasked with maintaining the flow of electric power to 15 million people. While a break from the first major storm of 2023 is forecast for Friday and Saturday, more rain is predicted next week.
In Southern California, Santa Barbara County and northern coastal areas are experiencing the heaviest impacts of the storm, with mandatory evacuations ordered in recent fire areas. SCE has prepositioned crews in the most vulnerable areas to be ready to respond quickly to power outages.
As of mid-morning Thursday, approximately 3,000 of SCE’s 5 million business and residential customers were without power service area-wide.
“We’re looking pretty good as we’re standing right now,” said Andrew Peterson, one of SCE’s storm chiefs. “We’re closely monitoring which areas need the most help.” The company has placed crews on alert to respond to power outages and other storm impacts through Tuesday of next week.
The brunt of the storm is being felt in northern California, where SCE has deployed a number of crews to help Pacific Gas and Electric restore power to its customers. Those crews are expected to remain through Saturday, while SCE has ample resources remaining in its service area to manage storm impacts locally.
Customers can report or inquire about outages at 800-611-1911 and get the latest outage information at sce.com/outages. Updates are also available at twitter.com/sce and facebook.com/sce.
As the storm threat continues, SCE offers these important safety tips:
- Watch for Downed Wires: Severe weather can cause power lines to fall. They can electrify puddles, wet grass and the surrounding area. Never approach a downed wire or anyone or anything in contact with it. Never try to remove a broken tree limb or branch that has come in contact with a power line. Stay away and call 911 immediately. A downed wire doesn’t always spark or hum. Always assume a downed wire is energized. Coming into contact with electrical wires can cause serious injury or even death.
- Beware During Flooding: Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and 2 feet can sweep your vehicle away.
- Use Battery-Operated Radios and Flashlights: Check the batteries to make sure they are fresh. Use flashlights for lighting during a power outage. Do not use candles because they pose a fire hazard.
- Generator Safety: If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into it, using heavy-duty extension cords. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews.
- Space Heaters: Do not leave your space heater unattended and unplug it when not in use. Consider getting a space heater that has an automatic shut-off.
- Driving Hazards: When power is out, traffic signals may be out, so approach those intersections as four-way stops.
For more electrical safety tips, visit: sce.com/safety.