Nearly one week after a wind storm swept through the San Gabriel Valley and knocked out power for about 430,000 Edison customers, the power company released this letter:
December 7, 2011
To All SCE Customers:
As a result of the unprecedented wind storm that hit portions of Southern California last Wednesday, more than 430,000 Southern California Edison customers lost their power. We set ambitious goals to return service to them; however, in some cases in the hardest hit areas, we were not able to achieve our restoration targets or provide accurate information about their service. On behalf of the entire company, I apologize.
We understand that a number of our customers are frustrated, particularly those who have been without power for more than five days, and we thank them for their patience. We are working around the clock with crews from as far away as San Diego and Bakersfield to repair the massive storm damage to our power delivery system. Access to make needed repairs has been difficult due to storm debris and the thousands upon thousands of trees and branches downed by the hurricane-strength winds. Local fire and police departments have been especially helpful, as have local public works agencies, in helping us gain access. I would like to thank them for this vital assistance.
We are committed to doing what we can to help our customers through this difficult time and will continue to work with cities and communities on a daily basis to set up emergency supply distribution centers. Our employees went door-to-door on Saturday to let affected customers know about the distribution centers we had opened, where they could obtain emergency supplies, including water, ice and flashlights. We are working to make direct contact with individual customers who remain without power.
Through the efforts of nearly 1,000 employees, including 276 field crews and support staff, Southern California Edison restored service to more than 420,000 customers of the 430,000 total customers affected. We will continue to work around the clock until full restoration to all customers is completed and will apply lessons learned to future operations.
In all of this, safety is our primary concern and we want to remind the public to stay away from any downed and dangling power lines, including individual lines that connect customer homes to our poles. We appreciate the customers who have been thanking our crews in the field for their tireless work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.
President, Southern California Edison