LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Thousands of people across Southern California should be prepared for the possibility of more planned power outages over the next several days as another wind event was forecast to hit the area.
According to a National Weather Service forecast, moderate to strong northerly winds were expected through Sunday — focused over Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties — with gusts near 60 mph Saturday night around the Santa Ynez Range and the 5 Freeway corridor. The weather service said the winds, combined with moderately dry conditions, could result in critical fire weather conditions in Santa Barbara County.
By Sunday night, gusty Santa Ana winds were expected to move further south — creating possible critical fire weather conditions in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
In response to these forecasts for a potential elevated fire risk, Southern California Edison issued an alert to more than 33,000 customers that public safety power shutoffs were under consideration, prompting people living in fire prone areas to prepare for potential shutoffs.
“We’re just on standby,” Amanda Gooding, a Hesperia resident, said. “Your groceries, people are on oxygen. People rely on their power, so if they’re just going to be shutting it off all the time, what are we going to do?”
Gooding said her son’s school was considering cancellations due to the possible power outages.
Below is a breakdown of potential power shutoffs:
- Los Angeles County — 4,200 customers
- Riverside County — 2,700 customers
- San Bernardino County — 3,900 customers
- Ventura County — 400 customers
Along with homes and businesses, the potential power outages might also impact some state parks including El Capitan and Refugio state beaches and Gaviota State Park. The California Department of Parks and Recreation said in a statement that there would be no potable water, restrooms or shower facilities at the parks in the event of a power outage — and open campgrounds or even entire parks might be forced to close.
As of Thursday night, approximately 132 customers in Mono County and 65 customers in Kern County were without power.