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Governor Declares State Of Emergency For Eastern LA County

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(credit: Kirk Hawkins/CBS)

(credit: Kirk Hawkins/CBS)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Eastern Los Angeles County. The declaration came Saturday, 10 days after hurricane-force winds blew out of the San Gabriel Mountains and caused widespread damage and power outages throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

The governor’s action allows Caltrans and other agencies to apply for federal funds to repair and reconstruct roadways in the area, which were covered by broken power poles and splintered trees. Dozens of traffic lights and other equipment were destroyed or damaged in the unusually fierce windstorm.

All of L.A. County, its cities, and the City of Rancho Cucamonga in San Bernardino are covered by the declaration.

More than 430,000 Southern California Edison customer accounts — representing businesses, schools or residences — were blacked out during the storm.

It took the utility more than a week to restore full service.

The California Public Utilities Commission has opened an investigation into why so many poles fell, and why it took so long for Edison to restore service.

The president of SCE sent out a letter of apology to customers last week.

“We were not able to achieve our restoration targets or provide accurate information about service,” said Ron Litzinger in the letter. “On behalf of the entire company, I apologize.”

(©2011 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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