The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has been working hard through challenging weather conditions over the weekend to try and restore power to its 1.5 million electric customers.
According to LADWP, more than 98,000 customers have had their power restored since the storm started on Friday; 50,000 of which were restored in the last 24 hours.
The utility also noted that there are still around 49,000 customers without power.
The normal 12-to-24-hour outage response time was increased to 24 to 48 hours as crews found that the record storm would continue to knock out power even as they restored it.
Many of the incidents that crews have worked on and continue to work on involve downed trees that take out telephone poles and power lines alike, which slows the cleanup process considerably and makes it much more dangerous.
According to LADWP, one crew member is in intensive care after suffering an injury while working to restore power on Saturday in an undisclosed part of the San Fernando Valley.
“This accident and serious injury of our employee is a reminder that our line crews and other field personnel are truly unsung heroes who work in hazardous conditions risking their lives to keep the power flowing across our city,” said LADWP General Manager Martin Adams. “The safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority, and we are praying that he makes a full recovery.”
LADWP also explained that some of the outages are a result of flooding and water intrusion into underground electrical systems, which can only be repaired if the crews go vault to vault to identify the source of the damage first, adding to the amount of time it takes to get power back up and running.
“We want our customers who are without power to know that we are working as hard and safely as we can to get your power restored and we appreciate your patience,” said Brian Wilbur, Senior Assistant General Manager of the Power System. “High winds and heavy rain like we experienced can cause significant damage, but our crews continue to make steady and strong progress and will work around the clock until everyone is back on.”
Most of the remaining outages are concentrated in Glassell Park, Green Meadows, Hollywood, and Studio City in the Metro area, with Chatsworth, Mission Hills, Tarzana, Van Nuys, and Woodland Hills in the San Fernando Valley also still experiencing some blackouts.
With the break in the bad weather on Sunday, LADWP anticipates “continued restoration in large numbers” as more storms make their way towards the area to begin the week.