It’s been almost a year since the last downpour, but the first major rainstorm of this year has arrived in the Southland and Southern California Edison crews are at the ready in case the combination of heavy rain and wind results in additional power outages.
SCE has been prepping for the rainstorms — which are forecast to last through Tuesday and bring up to about four inches in some areas — by increasing inspections and damage assessments in areas especially vulnerable to mudslides and possible flooding.
We are monitoring this severe weather and have extra crews and personnel at the ready.
SCE director of Grid Operations
For the past week, the utility has been reinforcing its structures, staging equipment for potential repairs and developing a robust plan, including backup equipment such as generators, for possible power outages.
“We are monitoring this severe weather and have extra crews and personnel at the ready,” said Jim Cherrie, SCE director of Grid Operations. “We are working with impacted counties on preparedness measures and coordinating with first responders and local city and county officials in our region.”
“SCE’s No. 1 priority is the safety of its customers and employees,” he added. “If you see a downed power line or dangling wire, never approach or touch it and call 911 immediately.”
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch till Tuesday evening for southeastern Santa Barbara County, Ventura County and all of Los Angeles County except the Antelope Valley. The weather service has also issued a wind advisory for the interior portions of Southwest California till Tuesday morning.
In anticipation of the heavy rainstorms, SCE is staging a helicopter to monitor the system, which will allow the utility to expedite damage assessments and accelerate recovery plans. SCE is also assessing its planned outages and factors such as public safety and reliability needs will be considered.
Customers can report or inquire about outages at 800-611-1911 and get the latest information using the SCE outages app at sce.com/outages. They can also stay informed by visiting sce.com/staysafe, twitter.com/sce and facebook.com/sce.
Storm Safety Tips:
- Downed trees and mudslides may have damaged electrical lines. If you come across any downed wires, stay away and call 911.
- Beware during flooding. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down and two feet can sweep your vehicle away.
- Wet yards with puddles on cement or grass can carry electricity. If a line is down in your yard, remain indoors and call 911 immediately.
- Never try to remove a broken tree limb or branch that has come in contact with a power line.
- Make sure you have battery-operated radio and flashlights. Check the batteries to make sure they’re fresh. Use flashlights for lighting during a power outage. Do not use candles because they pose a fire hazard.
- 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.
- When power is out, traffic signals may be out so approach those intersections as four-way stops.