Southern California Edison is considering power shutoffs on Thanksgiving for Santa Clarita Valley residents, and thousands more in the region, due to forecasted high winds and fire danger ahead.
The utility’s map of communities that could be affected includes areas located mostly east of the SCV and covers areas as far north as Oxnard, and southeast to Banning. An estimated 76,491 Edison customers could have their power shut off, of which 15,972 are in Los Angeles County, according to SCE’s website.
For the SCV areas that are under power safety power shutoff, or PSPS, consideration, monitoring conditions for potential shutoffs could take place from Thursday at noon through Friday at 3 p.m. The “(e)nd date is estimated based on weather forecast,” according to SCE.
The warnings come as the National Weather Service issued an “urgent” fire weather watch that goes into effect Thursday afternoon through Friday evening for much of L.A. and Ventura counties “due to gusty northeast winds and low relative humidity,” prompting SCE to warn residents of possible shutoffs.
“When there are potentially dangerous weather conditions in fire-prone areas, we may need to call a (PSPS) event,” read the utility’s website. “During these events, we will proactively turn off power in high fire risk areas to reduce the threat of wildfires.”
Moderate to locally strong Santa Ana winds were expected to develop Wednesday night and peak Thursday night through Friday morning and weaken into the weekend. The strongest winds will be focused in the SCV and surrounding areas. Wind gusts could reach up to 65 mph and humidities could dip from 12-25% Thursday to 6-15% Friday.
The weather service and SCE are urging residents to help reduce the threat of wildfires.
“Turning off our customers’ power is not something we take lightly, but PSPS events are one of the ways we can better ensure the safety of the public, our customers, and our employees,” read the SCE website.
To check the status of an update, utility customers can sign up to receive alerts via sce.com/wildfire/psps-alerts or call 1-800-655-4555.