SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA) — Thousands of people were without power from Simi Valley to the high desert to the Inland Empire as a precaution against possible wildfires.
A Red Flag warning for much of the region was extended through Saturday at 6 p.m. amid bone-dry conditions, according to the National Weather Service. Santa Ana winds are gusting 50 to 65 mph in the mountains and 40 to 55 mph in the valleys, bringing the danger of wind damage, downed trees and power lines, and high fire danger.
The Red Flag Warning for the LA/VTA mtns, Santa Clarita Vly, and VTA valleys has been EXTENDED through Sat 6pm! RH in the single digits to teens are expected Fri/Sat along with Santa Ana winds gusting 50-65 in the mtns and 40-55 in the vlys. High fire danger is expected! #CAwx pic.twitter.com/DvZwDuQ7BB
— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) November 27, 2020
Southern California Edison ordered Public Safety Power Shutoffs early on Thanksgiving Day. As of 10 a.m. Friday, 3,472 in Los Angeles County and 3,429 in Ventura County were without power. Another 3,154 in San Bernardino County, 1,815 in Orange County, and a whopping 4,567 in Kern County were also without power Friday
Shutoffs are designed to reduce the risk of fires caused by electrical equipment when strong winds are forecast. Several large fires in the state have been linked to electrical equipment.
But for people like Jeannie Murray, the preemptive power shutoffs are more than a convenience. She and her neighbors at the Simi Country Mobile Home Estates have been without power since Thursday morning and she couldn’t even make coffee Friday morning.
“Right now, it’s 58 degrees in the house. It’s 58. We’ve been bundled up with sheets, and blankets and every solitary thing you can imagine,” she said.
Murray said she had hoped to cook a nice Thanksgiving meal last night, but instead watched all her food spoil — just as she did when the mobile home community’s power was shut off during another wind event during the summer.
“I’m just worried it’s going to happen again,” Murray said, trying not to break down in tears. “I cannot keep trying to buy food. I can’t do it. It’s too expensive and everything. I wanna cry. I’m sorry about this. It just frightens me.”
Jim Yncera, the manager of the community said that SoCal Edison should try to better understand the impact of power shutoffs on its customers.
“Edison could come out and perhaps maybe put some generators out here, or come out here and try to help these people,” he said.
By 11 p.m., SoCal Edison said less than 500 customers were without power.
Customers can view a map of current SCE outages at www.sce.com/wildfire/psps, or call 1-800-655-4555.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)