LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Power was shut off to more than 27,000 residents across the Southland Thursday morning, with tens of thousands more warned to be prepared for the possibility of more planned power outages as another Santa Ana wind event hit the area.
In response to forecasts for a potential elevated fire risk, Southern California Edison issued an alert to more than 286,000 customers that public safety power shutoffs were under consideration.
As of 11:52 p.m. Thursday, SoCal Edison had shut off power to 10,378 customers in Los Angeles County, 7,436 customers in San Bernardino County, 4,768 in Ventura County, 4,374 customers in Kern County and 1,865 customers in Riverside County.
In total, power was shut off to 28,892 SoCal Edison customers across Southern California.
Below is a breakdown of the total number of potential planned power shutoffs Thursday:
- Los Angeles County — 96,827 customers
- Orange County — 33,920 customers
- Riverside County — 52,949 customers
- San Bernardino County — 98,328 customers
- Ventura County — 88,073 customers
- Kern County — 15,351 customers
In Northern California, Pacific Gas & Electric said up to 180,000 customers in 17 counties could be effected by planned power outages.
Gov. Gavin Newsom was scathingly critical of California’s public utility companies when he held a news conference in downtown L.A. Thursday morning to discuss the rolling blackouts.
“I must confess, it is infuriating beyond words to live in a state as innovative and extraordinarily entrepreneurial and capable in the state of California, to be living in an environment where we are seeing this kind of disruption and these kinds of blackouts,” Newsom said.
Newsom put a large portion of the blame squarely on PG&E, citing the company’s recent bankruptcy filing.
“It’s more than just climate change, and it is climate change, but it’s more than that,” the governor added. “As it relates to PG&E, it’s about dog-eat-dog capitalism meeting climate change, it’s about corporate greed meeting climate change, it’s about decades of mismanagement.”
“But as it relates to the other utilities, they also need to be held to account,” he went on. “Edison and SDG&E, they better get serious about partnerships with the state of California.”
Meanwhile, according to a National Weather Service forecast, strong offshore winds were expected to develop Thursday and weaken slightly Friday. The winds, combined with single-digit humidity, were expected to bring critical fire weather conditions to the mountains, valleys and inland O.C.
A red flag warning is in effect through 10 p.m. Friday evening.
The risk for fire was expected to decrease Saturday and into Sunday as onshore winds bringing cooler temperatures and higher humidity into the region.
Thursday School Closures:
— Fillmore Unified School District.
— Mupu School District.
— Cal State University, San Bernardino
— College of the Canyons’ Canyon Country campus. The Valencia campus remains open.
— All schools in the Sulphur Springs School District in the Santa Clarita Valley are on a minimum day schedule and will let out early.
— The following Saugus Union School District schools could face power outages Thursday or Friday: Rio Vista, Emblem, Santa Clarita, Highlands, Cedarcreek, Skyblue Mesa, Rosedell.