Electricity returns to Canyon Country heading into Christmas Day

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While the electricity in the Canyon Country area was restored late in the afternoon Thursday, some Canyon Country residents continued their criticism of SoCal Edison.

On Wednesday, Southern California Edison shut off power to thousands of homes in the northeastern part of the Santa Clarita Valley, saying the shutoffs were a part of their public safety power shutoff program.

Although they could not give a specific number for how many homes were affected by the shutoffs, Edison had said Wednesday that more than 9,000 residents in Los Angeles County were being affected.

They accredited these shutoffs to high-wind weather events and unusually dry fuel in the area, due to the lack of rainfall in the Santa Clarita Valley area.

On Thursday, the number of residents in all of Los Angeles County was updated to show 6,097 were still affected by the PSPS. By 4 p.m. SoCal Edison’s website showed all power had been restored to the area, a day after they had originally shut off the power.

A number of residents in the Santa Clarita Valley voiced their frustration at these initial shutoffs heading into the holidays, saying that this had been a recurrence of events throughout the summer and over Thanksgiving Day.

“I understand that it’s a double-edged sword, and I understand their reasoning to shut it off due to the wind events and the power lines might fall somewhere and start a fire, which the public would then turn around and sue the power company,” said Bill Stires, a Canyon Country resident who lives in the area surrounding St. Clare’s Catholic Church. “But it’s just frustrating.”

The 72-year-old Stires said his children were firefighters, and he recognized the gravity of the situation. But, as a senior citizen, he felt it was important for the power company to recognize that he needs to be able to keep his home warm.

“I’m in an older part of the valley, and we have all above-ground power lines,” said Stires. “But where you go over to the west side, and everything’s underground, and it’s all the new stuff they don’t have to worry about,” he said.

Other Canyon Country residents, when speaking to The Signal, said they would be trying to make the best of the situation, for instance, putting their half-cooked turkey and mashed potatoes on the barbecue as they did when the power went out on Thanksgiving Day, with plans to do the same if the electricity was cut on Christmas Day as well.

“We need to do better down the road,” Stires added.

The Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service originally on Wednesday for the 91351 ZIP code was extended till 3 p.m. Thursday.

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