SoCal Edison power shutoffs have started in SoCal neighborhoods amid fire danger

More than 102,000 Southern California Edison customers are facing potential power shutoffs on Thanksgiving due to extreme fire danger.

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Friday, November 27, 2020
SoCal families spend Thanksgiving in the dark after SCE shuts off power
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Some unlucky families in Simi Valley and other parts of Southern California spent Thanksgiving in the dark due to SoCal Edison shutting off power due to elevated fire risk.

Southern Edison has begun shutting off power in scattered communities throughout Southern California as strong Santa Ana winds elevate the risk of fire on Thanksgiving Day.

An Edison map indicates power has been shut off in neighborhoods of Moorpark, Simi Valley, Porter Ranch and Santa Clarita. Also Fontana police are alerting residents of an expected outage in the north part of the city. Riverside County says an area just south of Cabazon is likely to be de-energized as well Thursday afternoon.

Edison says more than 103,000 customers are at risk of power shutoffs on Thanksgiving and into the overnight hours because of the fire danger. That number was reduced from earlier in the day when about 106,000 customers were under consideration.

Late Thursday, the utility was estimating that power was shut off for nearly 8,000 customers in Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties. The number of customers without power fluctuated throughout the night, moving from about 5,000 to as high as 9,000.

At 11 p.m. the number stood at roughly 7,846. Approximately 1,288 customers in L.A. County, 3,855 in Ventura County, 1,757 in San Bernardino County and 946 in Orange County, were without power.

"Turning off our customers' power is not something we take lightly, but Public Safety Power Shutoff events are one of the ways we can better ensure the safety of the public, our customers, and our employees,'' Edison said on its website.

The shutoff of power is designed to reduce the risk of fires caused by electrical equipment when strong winds are forecast. Several large fires in California have been linked to electrical equipment.

Red flag warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service for a large portion of Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire. The red flag warning is not set to expire until Saturday afternoon.

The company added more neighborhoods to the potential shutoff list.

As of Thursday night, 25,846 customers in Los Angeles County, 7,202 customers in Riverside County, 3,103 customers in Orange County, 13,024 in Ventura County and 49,299 in San Bernardino County were under consideration for having their power shut off at some point overnight, Edison said.

A map of communities from Oxnard to Banning that could be affected is available here.

An Edison spokesman told Eyewitness News if a customer's home is under consideration for a power shutoff, they may want to prepare their Thanksgiving meal earlier than planned.

The utility says it generally sends customers a notice of a power shutoff 48 hours in advance.

"If your power has been shut off, we will restore power as soon as the weather conditions permit, and crews have inspected the power lines to confirm it is safe to restore power,'' Edison said.

SCE customers can sign up for alerts to let them know if the power will be shut off.

Some of the largest, most devastating wildfires in California history have been linked to electrical equipment.

Bobcat Fire possibly caused by tree branches hitting SoCal Edison equipment

Easy Fire: SoCal Edison equipment failure caused blaze that burned 1,860 acres in Ventura County

Silverado Fire: SCE equipment under investigation as a possible source

City News Service contributed to this report.