Power Outages Continue After County Supervisors Reprimand Edison

TEMPLE CITY (CBS) — Thousands of residents are still without power one week after a violent wind storm disrupted service to more than 250,000 residents in the greater Los Angeles area.

The county has now opened warming centers to help residents cope with an early cold snap. Health officials warn that freezing temperatures elevate the risk of hypothermia for residents and pets who are without electricity or spending too much time outdoors.

Los Angeles County supervisors Tuesday accused Southern California Edison of failing to efficiently restore power to customers in the San Gabriel Valley.

“We certainly understand the frustration of our customers, some of whom have experienced no service for over four and a half days now,” Edison Vice President Veronica Gutierrez told them. “We can tell you, however, that we are entirely committed to getting these lights back on.”

Since the beginning of the storm last week, Gutierrez said 276 utility crews from as far as San Diego and Bakersfield have been “working on this nonstop day and night” to service 419,000 customers who lost power.

“I have spoken with 30-year employees who have never seen this level of damage,” she said.

She says a “very significant” amount of tree damage has hampered repair efforts.

County officials, however, were not impressed.

Supervisor Mike Antonovich accused Edison of failing to keep customers properly informed.

“You can talk to anybody on the street who’s been impacted and they’re saying, ‘Are we living in a third-world country or is this California?’,” he said.

Antonovich said he’s received dozens of calls from angry customers.

“You know, you had an exercise and you failed when we had the disaster. What do you do in the exercise? How do you evaluate the exercise? And how do you evaluate how we can do a better job than the previous exercise? Or is it coffee and donuts?” Anotonovich said.

  • Phoebe

    Will all of those people who have been without electricity have their bills adjusted accordingly? Of course Edison will say they now will have to increase rates in order to pay for the necessary upgrades, repairs & all of the overtime. Hang on to your wallets…

    • line worker

      duh there wsere no charges because the meter was off the whole time the power was off

  • Buddy System Solar

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  • The Engineer

    Career politicians like Antonovich have never had to do this sort of job and have no idea of how difficult or potentially dangerous it is. Given the magnitude of the problem, I think SCE have done just about as well as they can. I speak as a 30+ year electrical engineer.

  • noneoff

    Since the 2000 / 2001 rolling blackouts / brownouts, I’ve had solar a photovoltaic system on my house with battery backup. While it has not provided me with the money savings I had expected, I am never with electricity. My system was expensive, but I would not change a thing about having installed. I am never with power.

    • noneoff

      This should read “While it has not provided me with the money savings I had expected, I am never without electricity”.

  • noneoff

    That last line should read,”I am never without power”.

  • KeithS

    I know some are saying SCE did what they could. All I know is this-back in 1994, after the big quake, DWP had our power restored in only four days. I am one who can not buy this “downed trees” crud when I was only 2 miles south of the epicenter and saw a lot worse than fallen trees. My perception is SCE wasn’t prepared; case closed.

  • rg

    mike antonavich grand-standing at his best. LA County Public Services is a joke, yet he has the gall to throw stones at SCE. Who’s job is it to maintain all those trees that caused most of the damage? Let me guess, the LA County Dept of Public Works maybe? Some of Antonavich’s comments were plain stupid, yet he accused the SCE rep as being stupid. Hasn’t Antonavich ever hear of battery operated radios, twitter, iPad, etc. When he said it was stupid that SCE’s effort to get the word out because there wasn’t any electricity just shows how backward he is. I damn near fell off my chair when he suggested broadcasting the news from megaphone equipped vehicles. Maybe smoke signals too? Hey Mike, quit pointing fingers until your house is in order.

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