Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crews worked through pouring rain and strong winds over the weekend to restore power to customers affected by storm-related power outages.
At 10:30 pm Friday night, less than 7,000 customers were affected by power outages across the City. However, when strong winds picked up, power outages increased and climbed to a high of 78,000 by 1 AM.
LADWP had all available line crews in the field working on restoration, along with tree clearing crews and they have made strong progress.
On Sunday, LADWP said crews worked all day Saturday and through a second night of challenging weather conditions to restore power to customers affected by rain and wind storm-related power outages.
Overall, since the start of the storm Friday, crews have restored power to more than 98,000 customers. There were 49,000 customers out of LADWP’s 1.5 million electric customers who were still without power as of Sunday.
Many of the incidents crews are working to repair involve high winds and heavy rains toppling trees and taking down power poles and power lines, the utility said. “These require tree clearing and removal, which takes time and slows outage restoration work. Crews have prioritized restoration work involving broken or downed power poles and power lines as those incidents pose a public hazard.”
Some of the outages are a result of flooding and water intrusion into underground electrical systems. When the affected equipment is underground, crews must go from vault to vault to identify the source of the damage before repairs can take place, which can also be time-consuming.
“We want our customers who are without power to know that we are working as hard and safely as we can to get your power restored and we appreciate your patience,” said Brian Wilbur, Senior Assistant General Manager – Power System. “High winds and heavy rain like we experienced can cause significant damage, but our crews continue to make steady and strong progress and will work around the clock until everyone is back on.”
LADWP reported that one of its crew members sustained an injury while working to restore power Saturday in the Valley. He was transported to a hospital and is in intensive care at this time.
“This accident and serious injury of our employee is a reminder that our line crews and other field personnel are truly unsung heroes who work in hazardous conditions risking their lives to keep the power flowing across our City,” said LADWP General Manager Martin Adams. “The safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority, and we are praying that he makes a full recovery.”