Power outages expected due to fires, high winds across Southern California

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Thursday, December 7, 2017
Strong winds blew palm trees in an area of Southern California in a file photo.
Strong winds blew palm trees in an area of Southern California in a file photo.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Thousands of Southern California residents were left without power due to intense winds and damaging brush fires.

Southern California Edison said damage assessment teams and crews were working with first responders to see when they could make repairs to areas devastated by several wildfires, such as the massive Thomas Fire in Ventura County and Creek Fire in the San Fernando Valley.

As of Wednesday, about 11,000 customers were left without power across the Southland, with at least 7,000 of those customers residing in Ventura County.

SCE warned that customers across the region would still continue to see power outages amid the duration of the red flag warning.

The power company wants residents to know if outages do occur, that the power will remain off until weather conditions improve. Due to safety concerns, SCE may also turn off power in certain areas if there is a high-risk of extreme winds.

The utility offered the following safety tips for areas affected by high winds and/or fires:

  • Check emergency supplies to make sure you have a battery-operated radio, flashlight and fresh batteries. Do not use candles as they are a fire hazard.
  • If a power line falls on your vehicle, stay inside and remain calm until help arrives. You may use your cellphone to call 911. If you have to leave your vehicle, remember to exit away from the downed line and leave by jumping from the car and landing with both feet together. The vehicle and ground must not be touched at the same time. Move away from the area by shuffling your feet and not picking them up until you're several yards away.
  • Power outages may impact traffic signals, so treat all intersections as four-way stops and use caution.
  • Do not step in or enter any water that a downed power line may be touching.
  • If you use a generator, keep it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly to it with a heavy duty extension cord. Also make sure to look over the manufacturer's manual to properly operate the generator.
  • Do not use equipment inside that is designed for outdoor heating or cooking as such equipment can emit carbon monoxide and other toxic gases.

The utility tweeted that customers affected by an outage can report or get information by calling (800) 611-1911, or go to sce.com/outages.