LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Tens of thousands of Southern California Edison and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers remained without power early today, and electricity for some was not expected to be restored until Tuesday.
The DWP reported shortly after 1 p.m. Monday that 32,000 customers remained without power, down from 70,000 at 9 p.m. Sunday. The utility said 8,000 customers were “affected by small, neighborhood level outages.”
The estimated time of total restoration of services is 48 hours from the time an outage began, DWP spokesperson Dawn Cottrell said. Customers who have been without power the longest were receiving top priority.
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,” a utility statement said. “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.”
Some of the most affected communities included:
-- Leimert Park, 1,815 customers
-- Mount Washington, 389
-- Hyde Park, 1,056
-- Mid-Wilshire, 1,339
-- West Adams, 1,537
-- Park LaBrea, 1,332
-- Hollywood Hills, 1,049
-- East Hollywood, 2,593
-- Highland Park, 1,095
-- Pacoima, 455
-- Arleta, 587
-- Sylmar, 3,895
-- North Hollywood, 372
-- Sun Valley, 559
-- Panorama City, 640
-- Lake View Terrace, 879
-- Studio City 448
Meanwhile, SCE was experiencing an even greater number of outages. By early Monday, SCE had reported 411 outages on its website affecting 20,991 LA County customers, and 84 outages in Orange County affecting 2,630 customers.
There were 2,179 customers without power in unincorporated LA County, 277 in San Gabriel, 600 in South Gate, 250 in Whittier and 641 in Pomona.
In Orange County, 499 customers were affected in Buena Park, 277 in La Habra and 272 in Garden Grove. SCE said some customers might not have their power restored until Tuesday.
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.
The California Independent System Operator, which oversees the state's bulk electric power system, declared a Stage 2 Emergency on Sunday, announcing its operators were “taking all the steps to protect the grid, manage transmission loss and avoid outages.”
A Stage 2 Emergency means “the CA ISO has taken all mitigating actions and is no longer able to provide its expected energy requirements. A Stage 2 warning requires ISO intervention in the market, such as ordering power plants online,” according to the agency's website.
The Stage 2 Emergency was lifted just after 9 p.m. However, a flex alert continued Monday from 3 p.m. through 9 p.m., which urges all statewide residents to conserve as much electricity as possible during those hours by unplugging unused appliances, turning off lights and setting thermostats to no lower than 78 degrees.
The ISO said rolling blackouts were averted Sunday night, largely due to customers' conservation efforts.
Also Sunday, U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette issued an emergency order to “preserve the reliability of the bulk electric power system during this period of heat and stress on the grid.”
A statement from the Department of Energy added that “while the secretary has offered the emergency assistance to California in this time of crisis, he also encourages state policymakers to evaluate why the grid is not able to handle extreme stress, which could be alleviated with the support of greater baseload power generation and natural gas supply.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti reminded residents of the need for conservation Sunday, tweeting: “It's almost 3 p.m. Time to turn off major appliances, set the thermostat to 78 degrees (or use a fan instead), turn off excess lights and unplug any appliances you're not using. We need every Californian to help conserve energy. Please do your part. #FlexAlert.”
That tweet drew scorn from President Donald Trump's son Eric, who tweeted the following a few hours later: “Hard to believe this tweet is real from the Mayor of LA. This is what the democrats will do to this country... #Blackouts.”
Temperatures set new records around Southern California on Sunday, including 121 degrees at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, which broke a 2006 record of 119; Van Nuys hit 118 degrees, breaking a record of 117 set in 2018; and the high of 114 degrees at Burbank Airport tied a previous record set Saturday.
An excessive heat warning issued by the National Weather Service was in effect until 8 p.m. Monday.
Cooling centers are open throughout the weekend in Los Angeles and Orange counties. The list can be found at https://ready.lacounty.gov/heat/ and www.211oc.org/resource-centers/extreme-heat-cooling-centers.html.