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Edison Issues Letter of Apology

In response to widespread and, in some areas, week-long power outages following last week's wind storm, Edison issued an open letter to its customers today.

Nearly one week after a wind storm swept through the San Gabriel Valley and knocked out power for about 430,000 Edison customers, the power company released this letter:

December 7, 2011

To All SCE Customers:

As a result of the unprecedented wind storm that hit portions of Southern California last Wednesday, more than 430,000 Southern California Edison customers lost their power. We set ambitious goals to return service to them; however, in some cases in the hardest hit areas, we were not able to achieve our restoration targets or provide accurate information about their service. On behalf of the entire company, I apologize.

We understand that a number of our customers are frustrated, particularly those who have been without power for more than five days, and we thank them for their patience. We are working around the clock with crews from as far away as San Diego and Bakersfield to repair the massive storm damage to our power delivery system. Access to make needed repairs has been difficult due to storm debris and the thousands upon thousands of trees and branches downed by the hurricane-strength winds. Local fire and police departments have been especially helpful, as have local public works agencies, in helping us gain access. I would like to thank them for this vital assistance.

We are committed to doing what we can to help our customers through this difficult time and will continue to work with cities and communities on a daily basis to set up emergency supply distribution centers. Our employees went door-to-door on Saturday to let affected customers know about the distribution centers we had opened, where they could obtain emergency supplies, including water, ice and flashlights. We are working to make direct contact with individual customers who remain without power.

Through the efforts of nearly 1,000 employees, including 276 field crews and support staff, Southern California Edison restored service to more than 420,000 customers of the 430,000 total customers affected. We will continue to work around the clock until full restoration to all customers is completed and will apply lessons learned to future operations.

In all of this, safety is our primary concern and we want to remind the public to stay away from any downed and dangling power lines, including individual lines that connect customer homes to our poles. We appreciate the customers who have been thanking our crews in the field for their tireless work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.

Sincerely,

Ron Litzinger
President, Southern California Edison


Related:

Lisa Hastings December 12, 2011 at 11:34 PM
@ Terre Ash. Go take a food handlers course that the county requires for people who work in restaurants so you will understand what happens when food starts to defrost and reaches temps over 40 degrees. It is irresponsible and a disservice to those less fortunate to recommend that people donate food that has not been stored or handled properly. No brainer and duh!
CL December 13, 2011 at 12:50 AM
Terre - I'm not sure why folks seem to think you are advocating donating spoiled food. Thursday morning when we realized we could be in for a long haul without electricity we unloaded the perishables from the refrigerator and some of the more expensive items from the freezer and donated them to a friend who was housing extended family. We then filled in the empty freezer space with ice and managed to save most everything. I wasn't thrilled about the expense, but it certainly felt like a better option than throwing it all away.
Jill Ramirez December 13, 2011 at 02:18 AM
It was a natural disaster, that was not only widespread but affected different cities that have different services. Growing up in the northeast I remember a storm in 91 that left us without power for 3 weeks. One of the differences is that over there it is one city with towns, where as here we have LA County with a dozen different cities. We were without power for 3 days. My kids for the most part whined without video games and the computer the first day but by the second day were actually playing scrabble and reading the newspaper!! We sat at the kitchen table and talked and told jokes, took a long walk, and talked to people on the streets. Because of my lack of preparedness, we did lose pretty much all of our food, but your home insurance should have covered that and is not the responsibility of SCE. Friends who were without power for 5 days were in constant contact with SCE and the city. Because of confusion of WHO was responsible to cut down and remove trees before SCE would touch the wires and access to the poles. When our power finally came back on, one kid went to the tv, the other to the games and me to the computer.. I can imagine the hardship on those who are elderly, alone or sick. My neighbor got a generator on day 1 just to play it safe. Those families, should always have a plan in place just in case.
C JAKE December 13, 2011 at 03:55 AM
Kudos to AT&T. They were out in the field on Thursday with portable generators and had phones up in running in our neighborhood by Friday. Another item to put in your emergency kit - an "old fashion" phone that plugs directly into the land line and does not need to be charged with electricity. They can be found in thrift stores.
Terre Ashmore December 13, 2011 at 12:46 PM
Thank you CL! Your regard for others is what it's all about. Happy Holidays!

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