LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Thousands of Southern California Edison customers were faced with the possibility of safety-related power shutoffs today to guard against possible wildfires as strong Santa Ana winds continued to whip through the region.
SCE began ordering the so-called Public Safety Power Shutoffs began early on Thanksgiving Day, and by midnight some 1,350 customers in Los Angeles County and 946 in Orange County were without power, according to the utility's website.
Another 24,266 customers in mostly northern L.A. County and 3,062 in Orange County were under consideration to have their power shut down Friday, the utility reported.
A red flag warning went into effect at 2 p.m. Thursday and was expected to last until 6 p.m. Saturday for the Los Angeles County mountains and the Santa Clarita Valley.
Winds started picking up Thursday afternoon, with gusts topping out at 75 mph at the Magic Mountain Truck Trail, according to the National Weather Service.
They were expected to reach 65 mph hour in the mountains and Santa Clarita Valley on Friday.
The shutoffs could continue through 3 p.m. Friday, SCE stated.
“SCE does not shut off power based only on weather forecasts -- rather, based on actual conditions in the affected areas,'' said SCE's Jeff Monford, who said the power would be back on for affected customers “Hopefully, within 24 hours.''
Shutoffs are designed to reduce the risk of fires caused by electrical equipment when strong winds are forecast. Several large fires in the state have been linked to electrical equipment.
Customers can view a map of current SCE outages at www.sce.com/wildfire/psps, or call 1-800-655-4555.
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