Caltrans is alerting the traveling public that Southern California Edison has announced possible power outages for Public Safety Power Shutoff due to dry, hot and windy weather conditions and the potential for an elevated fire weather threat across the High Desert region.
The potential power shutoff could begin as soon as Thursday afternoon, June 20, and continue through Friday, June 21. The PSPS watch list, or areas affected, are Apple Valley, Victorville, Hesperia, Lucerne Valley and unincorporated San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties. Other desert regions in Riverside County may also be affected. No power has been turned off. Southern California Edison is still monitoring conditions.
Southern California Edison has notified about 6,500 customers across the high desert as well as government officials, emergency management agencies and fire chiefs of a potential power shutoff to protect public safety.Some gusts have already reached 45 mph. Peak wind gusts in affected areas will be mainly in the 45 to 55 mph range, with a few isolated gusts up to 70 mph possible. Winds are expected to peak this afternoon and evening and settle some tonight before picking up again Friday afternoon.
No power has been shut off at this time.
“Our personnel and meteorologists are closely monitoring field weather conditions throughout the region that might be affected by high winds,” said SCE Incident Commander Terry Ohanian, who is leading the response team at the utility’s Emergency Operations Center.
He noted that weather conditions can change quickly, which could affect the timing and duration of this event. SCE personnel have been mobilized and are now on alert to respond to changing weather conditions.
“We understand how inconvenient it is to be without power and will only shut off power if the weather is such that we have to take that action to protect communities from a potential wildfire,” Ohanian said. “We will do our best to minimize the impact on customers, but keeping families, homes and businesses safe is SCE’s No. 1 priority.”
Customers are reminded there may be outages caused by weather and high winds unrelated to a Public Safety Power Shutoff
If an outage occurs, power will be restored as weather permits and after crews inspect and determine it is safe to re-energize lines.
Customers whose contact information is on file with SCE will receive alerts by phone, text or email about any power shutoffs. They should make sure their contact information is correct by going to their account at sce.com under “Profile” or by calling 800-655-4555.
Caltrans is advising motorists that signalization on state routes throughout the High Desert will be affected during the power outages along Interstate 15 and on State Routes 138, 18, 58, 395 and 247. The signals will continue to cycle regularly for approximately three hours after the outage and will then cycle to “red-flash” for another three to four hours. If the outage remains in place for more than six hours the signals will then go to “blackout” mode.
Motorists are advised that if a traffic signal is not working and no lights are showing on the signal (blackout mode), you must treat it as a four-way stop --- STOP until it is safe to proceed. Please review the DMV Driver’s Handbook for more details at https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/hdbk/traff_lgts_sgns.
The California Penal Code (PC 21800) (d) (1) states “The driver of any vehicle approaching an intersection which has official traffic control signals that are inoperative shall stop at the intersection and may proceed with caution when it is safe to do so.” https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=21800&lawCode=VEH.
Use extreme caution and patience while driving during the possible power outages and pay close attention to other motorists and their movements. Know before you go! To stay on top of roadwork in the Inland Empire go to www.caltrans8.info and sign up for commuter alerts. View traffic conditions at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov.