PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
333 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

8/4/2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 080415
Subject:
SCE Restores Grid Power to All Customers in Downtown Long Beach
Contact:
Kerry Gerot
(562) 618-8612
Kerry.Gerot@longbeach.gov
Acting Public Information Officer
City Manager's Office




At approximately 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 2, 2015, SCE restored grid power to all customers in Long Beach. Residents are now receiving electrical service through the repaired power network. The final group of customers to be transitioned from generators to the underground network were limited to the area surrounding the initial vault fire and outage near 8th to 10th Streets and Pacific to Locust Avenues. SCE continued with food, water and ice distribution until all customers had been transitioned to the utility's network.

“I want to recognize the outstanding response from our city staff, including the Fire Department, Police Department, as well as the Departments of Public Works, Parks & Recreation, and Health,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Going forward, we will work with SCE to ensure this does not occur again, including preventing manhole covers from causing a public safety hazard. Already, the City has met with staff from the Public Utilities Commission as part of their independent investigation into the power failures that occurred in Long Beach.”

Long Beach is also working with Assemblymember Anthony Rendon, Senator Ricardo Lara, and Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell to host a town hall where members of the Long Beach community can voice their questions, comments, and concerns resulting from the power outage. Assemblymember Rendon represents a portion of Long Beach in the California State Legislature, and Chairs the State Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce. The Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce has jurisdiction over the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which in turn regulates all investor-owned electric utilities in California, including Southern California Edison.

SCE has committed to tethering all 307 manhole covers and vault locations within the downtown Long Beach electrical grid as a precautionary safety measure. The work is scheduled to start within the week and will take several days to complete. During this time, traffic detours may be necessary so that work can be completed safely will take several days to complete, with some work occurring at night.

Approximately 30,000 customers were without power during the height of the outage, which began on Thursday, July 30, 2015, at approximately 4:00 p.m. By 9:30 pm Thursday evening power had been restored to a majority of affected residents, leaving approximately 700 customers without power. By midnight there remained approximately 260 customers without grid power.

“I am proud of the First District residents who looked after one another during this crisis,” said First District Councilmember Lena Gonzalez. “The City, in conjunction with SCE, will have community meetings to help affected residents. I encourage residents and business owners with questions regarding claims or other matters to attend.”

During the day on Friday, July 31, SCE crews, accompanied by Long Beach Police Officers, inspected all but four of the 300 underground vaults throughout downtown Long Beach. The remaining four vaults were inaccessible and will be inspected as soon as possible. Based on information from the inspections, crews began making repairs and worked through the night on the network. Officers directed traffic during the inspections and monitored vehicular and pedestrian safety. Over the course of this power outage, more than 75 crews, comprised of over 150 technical staff, worked on repairs.

Late on Friday, July 31, SCE began assessing the potential to use generator power to temporarily restore power to the remaining 260 customers in the affected area. This approach proved successful and resulted in power being restored to approximately 190 of the 260 business and residential customers without service. By 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 1, SCE reported that all customers were receiving electrical service from generators or the grid. On Sunday, August 2, SCE crews connected all customers to grid power.

SCE continues to encourage customers in Long Beach to make every effort to conserve electricity as the utility continues to monitor the system as it reaches full operational capacity.

For information regarding community meetings and claims processing, please follow the City of Long Beach and City departments on Twitter @LongBeachCity, @LBFD, @LBPD, @LongBeachPW. See the City's website at www.longbeach.gov. Check @SCE for updates and www.sce.com/claims for claims information.

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