Local

Car Crashes, Power Outages Spike Amid Record Rainfall

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Along with the record rainfall drenching Southern California, authorities say a few records have been broken in regards to car crashes, power outages and calls for roadside assistance.

The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to 146 collisions Monday, 55 percent more than it does on an average day, LAFD spokesman Erik Scott said. Paramedics took 554 people to the hospital, 5 percent more than usual, and responded to a total of 1,227 incidents, a 21 percent increase over dry days.

As of noon Tuesday, the LAFD reported they responded to 501 calls, which included five for downed wires and five for flooding.

Officials with the Automobile Club of Southern California reported receiving more calls for help Monday than they have ever received in a 24-hour period. More than 25,000 Auto Club members called for help with stuck cars, dead batteries and flooded engines. Monday’s numbers were a 14 percent increase over the previous record of 22,000 calls during a heat wave on Oct. 9, 2008.

“Monday was our highest volume day, and our preparations enabled us to deliver service to the majority of members in 30 minutes,” Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring said. “The rest of the week is shaping up to be a very wet time on the roads and we will continue to staff up our call centers and contractor network to service our members when they need us most.”

Power outages hit 13,678 Southern California Edison customers, SCE spokeswoman Lauren Bartlett said, including 727 in Mammoth Lakes that SCE crews could not reach because of snow.

The utility is scheduling repairs based on how long customers have been without power, with those in the dark the longest being served first, Bartlett said.

No one with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was available with figures for outages in the city.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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