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Power Outages Have Some LADWP Customers Hot -- Literally

LARCHMONT  VILLAGE (CBSLA)  -- The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power says they might need to take drastic measures to fix  the city's old and crumbling power system.

And by drastic, they mean months of outages and forced blackouts and closing business streets during rush hour.

KCAL9's Suzanne Marques reported from Larchmont Village Wednesday night where some residents said they've had enough of their share of power outages.

The residents say they've had to deal with no electricity and no AC during our heat waves -- they're hot, they have spoiled food and patience is wearing thin in triple-digit heat.

Larchmont Village has had several power outages as have Beverly Glen, Mid-City and Windsor Square. And they say they've been dealing with the outages for years.

The latest outage in Larchmont Village last three days.

"It was really difficult for us, we're expecting, it was 107 degrees, we really couldn't stay in the house, we had to go out and get a hotel," says Carri  Brown.

Once the summer and these heat waves pass,  the LAWDP says they have a plan to try something new -- planned outages to fix the power grid and outdated infrastructure. The LADWP raised rates a few years ago, and says it now wants to put that money to good use, this fall or winter, to make the fixes.

"When we had those big rain storms last year, they said they were doing transformers in the alley and they shut us down for a few hours, they said all that was done thumbs up," says Steve Cohen, owner of Village Pizzeria.

Cohen says despite past promises, the power failures always happen again.

"I've been here 21 years, we've had power failures at least one or two a year, for the length of time I've been here," Cohen says.

LADWP says, this time it would be different.  Planned power outages in neighborhoods, with a heads up a few days before.
outages lasting 5-6 hours at a time while they worked in the ground, in neighborhoods without visible power lines. But places with underground cables they'd have to dig up and repair, which takes extra time and work

"I feel like everybody would support that," says Brown ,"because all anybody's been talking about is updating the grid and feeling the frustration of not having the grid updated. So  if we knew in advance, we could plan everything, it would absolutely be worth it."

The work in some neighborhoods would take months, and there would be road closures, because they would have to dig into the ground or people's backyards. But they say the planned outages would happen when power use is low, like during work or school hours in neighborhoods, and on the weekends in places that are busy during the week like downtown LA.

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