Company provides tips on how to prepare for planned outages
East County News Service
July 17, 2019 (Warner Springs) -- To strengthen the regional electric system against the threat posed by wildfires, SDG&E contractors will be working in Warner Springs to upgrade wooden power poles with fire-resistant steel poles. For the safety of the construction crews, electricity in that community will need to be turned off on two days – Saturday, July 20, and again onn Monday, July 22, – to accommodate the work.
On both days the planned outages will begin at 7:30 a.m. and will last up to 8.5 hours, according to SDG&E. Swapping out wood poles with steel poles requires the use of a helicopter, which can only be flown during daylight hours.
In addition to upgrading the poles, crews will also replace older overhead distribution lines and other equipment, to increase the system’s capacity to withstand extreme weather conditions, such as high winds.
“Please know we’ll work to restore your service as safely and quickly as possible,” a media release from SDG&E states. “However, unsafe weather conditions or unforeseen events may prolong the power outage or force us to cancel the outage on the scheduled dates. We know being without power is an inconvenience. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated. We thank you in advance for your understanding and patience.”
Pole Upgrades Help Mitigate Wildfire Risk
The work in the Warner Springs area is part of the company’s Fire Risk Mitigation Initiative (FiRM) program, which began in 2013 to meet its commitment to deliver “clean, safe and reliable energy to customers,” according to SDG&E.
To date, this program has fire-hardened more than 7,000 poles and 350 miles of wires in High Fire Threat Districts. The hardening work involves replacing aged lines, installing advanced technology, and designing facilities to withstand known local weather conditions.
What You Should do to Prepare for the Planned Outages
Prior to the scheduled outages, SDG&E recommend residents unplug all sensitive electrical equipment, such as computers and televisions to prevent damage or data loss. Once power is restored, checking alarm systems and garage door openers is recommended.
Those customers who are enrolled in SDG&E’s Medical Baseline program and have devices that depend on electricity are asked to contact SDG&E’s Planned Outage Coordinator to confirm that they have received the outage notification and to make any necessary arrangements during the planned outage. The outage coordinator can be reached weekdays between 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at 858-654-1785.
If you need assistance afterhours or over the weekend, please call 1-800-211-7343. The latest power outage information can be found at sdge.com/outages.
“SDG&E takes very seriously our responsibility to operate the grid safely,” the company statement concludes. Click here to learn more about SDG&E’s wildfire preparedness and fire-hardening efforts.