Disaster Response and Mutual Aid

California’s SMUD Receives Help from Public Power Community in Restoration Efforts

California public power utility SMUD this week worked to assess damage, make repairs, and restore power in the wake of recent storm-related damage and is receiving a helping hand from a large number of public power utilities from California and other states.

On Jan. 8, SMUD reported that the Sacramento region was hit by heavy rains and 70 mph-winds by the latest storm that ripped through Northern California overnight. Storm damage knocked out power to more than 345,000 SMUD customers at its height around 2 AM. As of 3:45 PM on Jan. 8, approximately 60,000 customers remained without power. 

The most recent storm was the worst storm in more than 30 years, eclipsing a New Year’s Eve storm. So far, SMUD has identified more than 80 downed power poles and dozens of downed trees impacting utility equipment, SMUD said on Jan. 8. “These numbers will grow significantly as assessments are completed,” it said.

SMUD line crews, troubleshooters and other field personnel will work 24/7 to restore power to customers if it’s safe to work, it said.

Crews made steady progress throughout the day last Sunday to assess damage, make repairs and restore power.

SMUD on Jan. 9 said that 100 teams were working to restore power after Sunday night’s storm brought hurricane force winds to parts of our region.

It said that many other utilities have come to support SMUD and its customers, including:

  • Redding Electric Utility
  • Turlock Irrigation District
  • Modesto Irrigation District
  • Western Area Power Administration
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
  • San Diego Gas and Electric
  • Southern California Edison
  • Salt River Project
  • Clark County Public Utilities District

SMUD also said that it has received assistance from the California Utilities Emergency Association, Western Energy Institute and the Western Region Mutual Assistance Group.

The American Public Power Association has also been providing mutual aid assistance.

“I want to give a shout-out to SMUD’s field crews and staff across the company who are supporting this effort,” said SMUD CEO and general manager in a Linkedin post on Jan. 9. “Team SMUD, I couldn’t be prouder of you. Thank you for being safe and for working so hard for our customers. It has been a challenging time for all of us, but together we’re stronger and I’m proud to stand with you,” he wrote.