CHATSWORTH (CBSLA) – Nearly 13,000 Southern California Edison customers were without power Thursday after the utility implemented precautionary power shutoffs due to powerful winds.
Approximately 4,700 customers in Los Angeles County communities including Palmdale, Santa Clarita and unincorporated areas of Agua Dulce, Acton, Fern Ann Falls, Twin Lakes, Deer Lake Highlands, Chatsworth Lake Manor and Santa Susana Knolls were affected.
The shutoff also affected customers in Ventura, Kern and San Bernardino counties, according to the Edison website.
Experts say there are between two and three people for each electrical customer.
According to one Edison official, more than half of all fire starts in the last five years were due to objects flying into power lines.
“Not because our poles fell over or because the lines came down, but because a palm frond flies into the line and generates a spark, or a Mylar balloon flies into a line and generates a spark,” said Edison’s Don Daigler.
There was at least one report of downed power lines near Topanga Canyon and Devonshire in Chatsworth due to the winds. Several businesses in the area were without power and traffic lights were also offline, CBSLA’s Amy Johnson reported.
Officials later indicated the outage was caused by a construction tarp that blew into nearby power lines.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station tweeted out a photo of a downed tree at Magic Mountain Parkway and McBean just off the 5 Freeway.
Advisory: Downed tree at Magic Mountain Parkway and McBean. pic.twitter.com/NjOe3Zcyp1
— SCV Sheriff (@SCVSHERIFF) October 10, 2019
In a tweet Thursday morning, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power said the utility had no plans to perform safety shutoffs similar to Edison’s.
A red flag warning for the region was extended into Friday evening.