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Disaster Response and Mutual Aid

California Public Power Utilities Work to Restore Power in Wake of Storm

California public power utilities were hard at work restoring power to their customers after a severe storm that hit the state over the weekend.

On Feb. 4, California Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency for eight counties in Southern California as a series of winter storms began impacting much of the state with high winds, damaging rain and heavy snowfall. The text of the proclamation can be found here.

The proclamation covers Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

The emergency proclamation includes provisions authorizing a California National Guard response if tasked, facilitating unemployment benefits for impacted residents, and making it easier for out-of-state contractors and utilities to repair storm damage.

“The Sacramento region continues to be battered by Sunday’s strong winter storm, which brought 65+ mph winds in many areas, resulting in downed trees and widespread damage across the region. Storm-related damage knocked out power to about 200,000 SMUD customers. As of 8:35 p.m., 105,000 customers remain without power,” SMUD reported on Sunday, Feb. 4.

In a Feb. 5 tweet, the utility reported outages were down to less than 46,000.

So far, SMUD has identified more than 60 downed lines, dozens of downed power poles and numerous trees impacting utility equipment, it said on Feb. 4. “These numbers will grow significantly as assessments are completed.”

SMUD said it had more than 80 crews that will be working on a 24/7 basis to assess damage, make repairs and restore power to all customers.

“Nearly all customers have had their power restored, but we are still working to get power back on for a small number of customers. A big thank you to our line crews who worked all day and night, through the extreme weather, to restore power,” Turlock Irrigation District said in a Feb. 5 tweet.

Turlock Irrigation District, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Glendale Water and Power also reported details about their restoration efforts.

SMUD, LADWP, TID and Glendale Water and Power all posted links to their respective websites and social media channels that provided updates on their outage numbers.