Outages pose problems for oxygen-need patients

Tree onto an SUV during Thursday's high winds which convinced Southern California Edison to shut off power. Signal photo, Bobby Block.

The purposely imposed power outage that left more than 12,000 Los Angeles County residents without power Thursday, including those on the east end of Canyon Country, left at least one respiratory patient without her regular supply of oxygen.

The woman lives in the area of Shadow Pines Boulevard, one of the neighborhoods included in the decision by Southern California Edison to shut off the power to some residents in the county.

Resident Pam Conley said she stands to lose all the food she has in two refrigerators, including the frozen food in each.

Her main concern, however, is for the woman who lives with her who relies on a steady supply of oxygen.

“This woman has to sleep with (a supply of) oxygen,” Conley said Thursday.

“I’m going to have to drive her around and charge her portable oxygen supply,” she said, reflecting on others with respiratory needs.

“There’s a lot of people out there who cannot afford to do this,” she said.

More than 49,000 Edison customers in Los Angeles County, including an unspecified number in the SCV, were notified about the possibility of outages over the next couple of days, Edison spokesman David L. Song said Wednesday afternoon.

“People on life-support equipment have to make other arrangements,” Song said Wednesday, noting the purpose of notifying customers was so that they could make changes.

“With this notification, we’ve given a 48-hour notice,” he said, referring to what the utility describes as public safety power shutoffs.

Song said Wednesday it is not known when or where, or for how long, the outages will take place.

The bottom line, he said, is that as long as the red flag wind warning remains in place, the possibility of outages remains in place.

“The notice remains in effect until the winds subside,” Song said.

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