First published in the Sept. 9 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
Six days removed from performing emergency work to address frequent power outages in La Cañada Flintridge, Southern California Edison has reported no further unplanned electrical interruptions as of Wednesday afternoon.
Edison upped its presence with as many as 40 employees throughout the city from Aug. 24-Sept. 3 to investigate the issue and repair and replace aging equipment on the Haskell circuit, where recent outages have affected more than 1,000 local residents. The circuit is one of 22 in the city.
“We believe the work recently performed has resolved the issues that were experienced with the Haskell circuit because we understand how much our customers depend on electricity to carry out their responsibilities,” Reggie Kumar, a spokesman for Edison, told the Outlook Valley Sun on Wednesday. “We continue to remain committed and engaged in regular communication with city officials to make sure any potential issues in the future are resolved in a timely manner. We fully appreciate the concerns that were raised.”
City Council members and their staff were bombarded with messages this summer over the frequency of power outages in LCF, with complaints coming mainly from residents and businesses connected to the Haskell line south of the 210 Freeway. Sixteen unplanned power failures have been reported in LCF since June 21, and nine occurred on the Haskell circuit, one of the longest in the city.
Residents whose properties are connected to the Haskell circuit have sometimes been without power for several hours due to Edison’s policy of inspecting the entire line before reenergizing after an outage, a new policy put in place by the company to mitigate wildfires.
Ken Bodenhoefer, an Edison district manager who oversees LCF, had expressed optimism about the work the utility had done to resolve the issue when he spoke to the council on Aug. 30.
“I’m really encouraged by what we’re finding here and the work we’re able to perform,” he said in a special meeting last week. “[We’re] pretty confident it will get us a long way in terms of where we need to be.”
Despite the company’s efforts, the City Council proceeded to formally complain to the California Public Utilities Commission — which regulates and oversees utility companies — about the issue.