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LA City Council Seeks Answers As Thousands Remain Without Power

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Thousands of Southern California Edison and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers remained without electricity Tuesday, as the L.A. City Council sought answers about what caused the widespread outage.

High tension towers are seen in Redondo Beach, California on August 16, 2020. - California on August 14 ordered rolling power outages for the first time since 2001 as a statewide heat wave strained its electrical system. Pacific Gas & Electric, the states largest utility, tweeted that it would turn off power to about 200,000 to 250,000 customers in rotating outages for about an hour at a time. (Photo by Apu GOMES / AFP) (Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

As of Tuesday evening, SCE reported there were 4,001 customers without power in Los Angeles County, 743 in Orange County, 144 in Riverside County, 154 in San Bernardino County and 76 in Ventura County. The utility warned that more than 54,000 customers in the area could be subjected to Public Safety Power Shutoffs in the coming days with red flag fire conditions in the area.

Of those 54,000 customers, more than 6,563 are in Kern County, 11,089 are in Los Angeles County, 9,471 are in Orange County, 3,798 are in Riverside County, 14,669 are in San Bernardino County and 8,936 are in Ventura County.

As of 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, DWP reported fewer than 3,000 customers without power, down from more than 45,000 at 1 p.m. Monday.

Impacted areas included Mission Hills with 268 customers affected, South Central with 254, Larchmont with 238, Sun Valley with 185 and North Hollywood with 116. The department said there were several other neighborhoods with fewer than 50 customers without power.

According to the department, the estimated time of total restoration of services was 48 hours from the time that an outage began and a spokesperson for the department said those who have been without power the longest were receiving top priority.

In response to the outages, City Council President Nury Martinez filed a motion to have the DWP report on the events that led to the weekend outages, including information on what actions the department took to restore power, what plans it has going forward to prevent outages and the number of people impacted and the duration of the outages.

"As I speak there continues to be ... those who are without power, and that is something that this department sincerely regrets," DWP Board of Water and Power Commission President Cynthia McClain-Hill said during an earlier commission meeting Tuesday. "We had crews that were out, as I understand it, doing 16-hour shifts ... Every single resource that this department has and every resource that we could beg, borrow or steal was dedicated toward addressing this crisis."

Martinez' motion will first be heard by the council's Energy, Climate Change and Environmental Justice Committee.

DWP has requested mutual aid from nearby utilities in order to help with the high number of small outages that the department said take up to six hours to restore power to smaller groups of customers.

"We are doing everything we can to get everyone dealt with, both the large outages and the small outages," DWP General Manager and Chief Engineer Marty Adams said. "We hope that we will make significant progress today and get everyone back in power as quickly as we can."

Those experiencing a power outage were urged to report it at or by calling 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397) using the automated system.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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