UPDATED: Feb. 18, 6:30 p.m.
One of the largest storms to hit Southern California in years is making its way across the Southland.
Heavy rains with accompanying strong winds are forecast through the evening, increasing the likelihood of power outages and downed power lines. In some areas, including Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties, flash flood warnings have been issued.
“Crews are working around the clock to restore power and make repairs,” said Jim Cherrie, Southern California Edison’s director of Grid Operations and storm incident commander. “Crews and customers are being urged to be especially careful traveling and should avoid moving through standing water on flooded streets. Mudslides, snow and debris may also block roadways.”
Repair crews are staged across the region and are prepared to respond as quickly and safely as possible when and where they are needed. Crews are also patrolling areas susceptible to fallen debris, particularly in canyons and hillside communities experiencing heavy rain and snow.
Outages are currently spread across SCE’s service territory. As of 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, approximately 6,100 customers are without power. A frequent cause of power outages during heavy rain and windstorms are downed trees and debris that come into contact with power lines. The length of outages can be extended as a result, as trees often need to be removed before crews can begin their restoration work.
Due to the severity of the weather, and access issues to flooded areas, some customers could be without power for 24 hours or more. Crews are working to restore power and make repairs to customers that have been out the longest.
If you see a downed power line, do not touch it or anything in contact with it. Call 911 immediately.
- Wet yards with puddles on cement or grass can carry electricity. If a line is down in your yard, remain indoors and call 911 immediately.
- Never try to remove a broken tree limb or branch that has come in contact with a power line.
- Make sure you have battery-operated radio and flashlights. Check the batteries to make sure they’re fresh. Use flashlights for lighting during a power outage. Do not use candles because they pose a fire hazard.
- If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into it, using heavy-duty extension cords. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews.
- When power is out, traffic signals may be out so approach those intersections as four-way stops.