Southern California Edison officials announced Monday the possibility of power shut-offs for some of its customers, including many in the Santa Clarita Valley, amid Red Flag warnings and “damaging wind gusts.”
Edison customers across parts of Los Angeles County, including much of the SCV, were notified about the possibility of public safety power shut-offs, or PSPS, Monday morning.
Acton, Agua Dulce and most of Canyon Country, along with the parts of Valencia and Val Verde along Highway 126, were under PSPS consideration Monday, with end dates estimated based on the weather forecast, according to Edison officials.
This comes as the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag warning set to remain in effect until 6 p.m. Tuesday as critical fire weather conditions and damaging winds expected to be 50-60 mph, with gusts up to 80 mph in the SCV.
By Monday morning, power was shut off in parts of Acton, along with some of the areas burned by the Tick Fire almost a year ago to the day, with the Edison outage map estimating restoration to some of those areas by noon Wednesday.
“If your power has been shut off, we will restore power as soon as the weather conditions permit, and crews have inspected the power lines to confirm it is safe to restore power,” Edison officials said on the PSPS website.
Gusts of 96 mph were logged in the San Gabriel Mountains, just south of Santa Clarita, early Monday morning, according to NWS officials.
“(It’s) a particularly dangerous situation for L.A. County mountains Monday afternoon/evening due to an unusual combination of very strong winds, single-digit humidities and extremely dry vegetation,” NWS officials stated.
Though Canyon Country resident Sarah Newman was one of the evacuees of the Tick Fire last October, she said her power was never shut off last year amid a slew of outages in her area.
“Ironically, no fire (this year), but now they shut the power off,” Newman said.
While she was notified via email that the PSPS was possible, she assumed it’d be the same as last year and didn’t think to prepare.
“I bought some ice and threw it in my refrigerator until I can get a generator, but I live in an apartment, so it’s not really conducive to that kind of lifestyle,” she added.
For Newman, what’s most frustrating is the lack of concrete information on when, or if, her power will return.
“That’s the most frustrating thing is that, according to the (Edison) map, my power’s on,” Newman said. “According to the map, my address isn’t even in the location that they’re considering shutting off, but yet they sent me an email yesterday and said that they are, so it’s very inconsistent messaging from them. … I understand it’s a fluid situation, but I don’t feel like they’ve done enough to really clearly communicate what the situation is.”
Now, Newman’s traveling to her uncle’s house in the San Fernando Valley, as she’s been working from home and can’t do so without power.
Canyon Country resident Marie Carrillo also received an email notice from Edison around 9 p.m. Sunday, but doesn’t consider that adequate notice either.
“I’m asleep by then, and I left for work at 7 (a.m.),” she said in response. “What time did we have to prepare or check emails?”
Even so, Carrillo knows there’s nothing she can do about it and plans to deal with it as such.
“I guess we’re having ice cream for dinner because that’s melting,” Carrillo said. “(But) for me personally, I’ll deal with it. … There’s really nothing I can do right now. Thank God I have candles.”
Instead, she worries about her neighbors, many of whom are elderly and need medications or who have kids who are currently distance learning.
For more information on PSPS, visit sce.com/wildfire/psps.