30K SoCal Edison customers could lose power ahead of strong winds

ByMarc Cota-Robles, Sid Garcia, Josh Haskell, and ABC7.com staff KABC logo
Friday, November 1, 2019
30K SCE customers could lose power ahead of high winds
Dangerous fire weather conditions are heading to the Southland once again, prompting another warning of possible power shutoffs for Southern California Edison customers.

SYLMAR, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Dangerous fire weather conditions are heading to the Southland once again, prompting another warning of possible power shutoffs for some Southern California Edison customers.

Southern California Edison says they may shut off power to customers in high-risk areas. The number of possible shutoffs are less than last week when as many as 170,000 customers in Southern California faced outages.

More than 33,000 customers in the region could be affected in this latest round of potential shutoffs.

Areas under consideration for power shut-off by SoCal Edison as of 12:00 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1:

In Los Angeles County, as many as 2,885 customers could be impacted, along with 2,719 and 5,363 customers in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, respectively.

The mountain and desert areas will be under a wind advisory Thursday as gusts pick up into the evening through Friday. Even stronger winds are expected to arrive Sunday.

The potential shutoffs comes as Los Angeles Fire Department investigators said the Saddle Ridge Fire began under a SoCal Edison transmission tower in Sylmar.

The Saddle Ridge fire zone is not fully contained, and firefighters still looking for hot spots with winds raising new worries about a possible flare-up.

The LAFD has helicopters with infrared technology flying at night to detect hot spots and then water-dropping helicopters hit those hot spots during the day. Because of the coming wind event, 800 firefighters will remain in the fire zone.

An assistance center, which opened Thursday at the Sylmar Recreation Center located at 13109 Borden Ave., is designed to be a one-stop resource for people impacted by the Saddle Ridge Fire - as potential red flag warning conditions loom.

City, state and government agencies along with non-profit organizations are providing help on filing insurance claims, applying for disaster relief, replacing records lost in the fire and cleaning, repairing and rebuilding property.

"Those government agencies are gonna help people navigate the recovery process, whether it's insurance claims or rebuilding or just cleaning up your home," said Kate Hutton, L.A. County emergency management coordinator. "And the non-profits could help also with the cleanup, but also maybe financially as well."

A handful of residents arrived at the center, which is open until Oct. 26, shortly after it opened - including a woman whose home was damaged in the Saddle Ridge Fire.

"(My house) is full of smoke, and just needs some cleaning, got to do the curtains. But my thing is, I have carpet on the floor and that smoke is still in there. Even though I have humidifiers, I've been trying to work with that," Sylmar resident Barbara Howard said.

The Saddle Ridge Fire was 56% contained as of Thursday after burning nearly 8,400 acres. With the projected windy conditions, fire crews will be patrolling the burn areas and continuing to work on containment.