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More than 200,000 could be without power on Thanksgiving due to fire danger

ABC News
ABC News
 9 days ago

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More than 200,000 customers in Southern California may be without electricity during the Thanksgiving holiday as two utility companies consider cutting power due to fire danger.

In the counties of Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura, more than 156,000 customers could be affected by power cuts by Southern California Edison, while nearly 49,000 customers in the San Diego mountains and inland Orange County could be affected by shutoffs by San Diego Gas & Electric.

As of 3 p.m. local time in California on Thursday, over 68,000 customers had their power shut off, mostly in high-wind areas, between the two companies, including nearly 64,000 San Diego Gas & Electric customers. San Diego Gas & Electric said this represents 1.3% of its 5 million customers and includes 15,556 customers in Los Angeles County, 14,987 customers in Ventura County, 8,852 customers in San Bernadino County, 20,322 customers in Riverside County and 4,127 customers in Orange County.

MORE: PG&E's preemptive wildfire-prevention power shutdowns impact thousands in California

Red flag warnings for critical fire danger are in effect from Los Angeles to San Diego, with forecasts of Santa Ana winds up to 70 mph and relative humidity in the single digits.

The warnings are in effect through much of Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

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Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images, FILE - PHOTO: Electric power lines in Hermosa Beach, Calif., July 13, 2021.

Utility companies in the wildfire-prone West often utilize public safety power shutoffs (PSPS) to reduce the risk of a fire sparking from an energized power line. San Diego Gas & Electric warned customers to make alternative holiday arrangements in the event of a PSPS.

MORE: Power shut off in California as winds, fire danger increase

"We recognize that PSPS events create hardships for our customers and communities, especially with so many people working and learning from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic," the Southern California Edison website states. "We have heard a clear message from our customers, regulators, government officials and public safety partners that the company must do more to reduce the need for PSPS."

California continues to remain a tinderbox for wildfire due to a decades-long megadrought and dry conditions exacerbated by climate change.

ABC News' Melissa Griffin and David Herndon contributed to this report.

Comments / 895

Thomas Conza
9d ago

Welcome to communism, people.These are the results you get from a one party system.The great state of California is being ruled by unhinged, out of touch, Marxist democrats, whose only purpose is to force their will upon those who are unfortunate enough to live in that state.

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Matt McCartney
10d ago

Sorry to interrupt your soapbox insult. Not everyone is a candidate for solar. People in certain mountain regions (such as myself) don't receive enough direct sunlight for solar to be a viable option. Just thought I'd share

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Mary paice
10d ago

That’s no surprise with the mismanagement of California’s power grid. The customers pay through the nose and still suffer.

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196

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