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More Than 1,000 Outages

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DWP brought in crews from Nevada and Owens Valley, made 16-hour shifts and is working fast to get LA back up and running after yesterday's wind attack, which left 109,000 customers in the dark (that would be 8% of the 1.4 million DWP customers):

Remarks by DWP Commission President David Nahai
Regarding LA Windstorm Power Outages
April 13, 2007
9:30 AM

Good morning. Thank you for joining us this morning.

I’d like to begin by recognizing members of the Los Angeles City Council who are with us.

It is many of their constituents who are directly impacted by the windstorm outages that hit Los Angeles and we welcome each of you here today.

I can tell you this morning that LADWP Crews worked through the night to restore power to more than 100,000 customers who lost power as a result of the fierce windstorm that hit LA yesterday. As of 9AM, LADWP crews have restored power to approximately 40,000 customers.

Last night at approximately 7:30 PM, we reached a peak of 109,000 customers who were without power - about 8 percent of our 1.4 million customers. Through the night, our crews made substantial progress and we now stand at 71,000 customers without power. At this time, many of the outages are concentrated in the LA Metro Basin where 59,000 customers are impacted with another 17,000 customers out in the San Fernando Valley. Beginning at about 11:30 am yesterday wind-whipped power lines caused outages that began in the northwestern reaches of the San Fernando Valley and quickly spread across the Valley and into the LA basin.

The areas hardest hit included Woodland Hills, North Hills, Sylmar, Northridge, Studio City and northeast communities such as Mount Olympus, Echo Park, Highland Park, Montecito Heights, and Silverlake [sic], as the winds progressed across the City, the Metro area outages climbed. In all, few neighborhoods were left untouched.

The outages were caused by high winds knocking trees into power lines, breaking or cracking power poles and cross arms.

We have over 60 crews in the field today - that is about 300 personnel who are working on over 700 separate outages (down from 1000 at the peak) and it will take time for them to restore power to all customers.

Residents should know that crews will continue to work around the clock to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. Crews have been put on 16-hour shifts and have been called in from as far away as the Owens Valley and Nevada.

Having said that, with over 700 separate outages some customers could expect to be without power for as long as 2 to 3 days, but we are hopeful that the vast majority will be back up well before then.

Yesterday's wind hit hard and fast - one could almost liken it to a moderate earthquake as far as the impact it had on power lines and power poles. And while the Department is prepared to respond to emergencies such as these - 1,000 separate outages are going to take time to fix.

We've made progress and we will make a lot more progress today. The wind has subsided and our crews are making headway. Angelenos can be assured that crews are working as FAST and as SAFELY as possible to get their power back up and running.

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Photo of a power line on Bellevue between Glendale Ave and Echo Park Ave (southern edge of Echo Park Lake) by LAist contributor, Andy Sternberg.