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SoCal Edison Begins Shutting Off Power In LA, Ventura Counties

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Utility provider Southern California Edison began shutting off power to thousands of customers on Thanksgiving Day as a precautionary move because of a powerful Santa Ana wind event which has hiked the wildfire risk in the region.

Power line
An overhead power line is seen outside Calexico, California, U.S. on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. As the threat of blackouts continues to plague California, officials are pointing to battery storage as a key to preventing future power shortfalls. But the Golden State is going to need a lot more batteries to weather the next climate-driven crisislet alone to achieve its goal of a carbon-free grid. Photographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As of 9:30 p.m., SCE had shut off power to about 9,000 customers total: 2,266 in Los Angeles County; 2,679 in Orange County; 1,201 in San Bernardino County; and 3,015 in Ventura County.

There are another 106,681 customers across the Southland who are also at risk of seeing their power shut off Thursday and/or Friday, including over 51,000 in San Bernardino County, more than 26,100 in L.A. County and over 11,600 in Ventura County.

The National Weather Service reports that winds of up to 60 miles per hour are possible Thursday and Friday in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and across the Inland Empire.

The conditions will create an increased risk for wildfires and could down trees and power lines, the NWS reports.

A red flag warning will be in effect from 2 p.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. Saturday for the L.A. And Ventura County mountains and the Santa Clarita and Ventura valleys, including the Antelope Valley. A red flag warning will also be in place for the rest of L.A. and Ventura counties that also begins at 2 p.m. Thursday, but will expire at 6 p.m. Friday.

In response, SCE reports that it could be forced to implement precautionary public safety shutoffs, similar to shutoffs SCE did about a month ago.

Some of the cities which could be effected include Santa Clarita, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Sylmar, San Fernando, Azusa, Rancho Cucamonga and Banning.

The shutoffs could occur through 3 p.m. Friday depending on the region. To see if your address is in the shutoff area, click here.

Beginning in August and lasting through October, there were several heat waves in California which sparked rolling blackouts for the first time since 2001, and helped contribute to the spread of a historic number of wildfires up and down the state which destroyed thousands of homes and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate.

SCE notified California state regulators that its equipment may have been to blame for sparking the Silverado Fire, which broke out east of Irvine late last month, burning 13,400 acres and forcing more than 90,000 to evacuate their homes.

Also last month, Ventura County fire investigators reported that the Easy and Maria fires, which broke out in October of 2019, were both caused by electrical equipment failures. In the Easy Fire, SCE equipment was to blame, officials said.

In November of 2019, while the Easy and Maria fires were still burning, SCE reached a $360 million settlement admitting that its equipment was also responsible for starting the 2017 Thomas Fire and the 2018 Woolsey Fire.

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