May 17, 2007
Edison Crews Restore Power to Parts of Catalina Interior Including Two Harbors
Southern California Edison (SCE) crews this afternoon fired up a temporary one million watt generator capable of providing the electricity needed by interior Catalina communities until the infrastructure destroyed by last week's wildfire can be rebuilt.
"Our first priority is temporarily restoring power to those hardest hit by the fire while our crews continue the challenging process of setting more than 100 new poles and stringing thousands of feet of new wire across the island's tough terrain," said Ron Litzinger, SCE senior vice president of transmission and distribution.
The wildfire that began May 10 destroyed much of the electrical infrastructure that delivers power from SCE's Pebbly Beach Generating Station to interior communities and camp grounds. To provide temporary power, SCE secured yesterday a large industrial generator and high-voltage transformer that were shipped to Catalina and installed today at SCE's substation near Two Harbors. The generator began supplying power to interior customers at 4 p.m. today.
The 35-ton generator-transformer installation will provide power to interior customers whose connection to the SCE grid and substation was not destroyed by the fire. Other communities that cannot be fed from the generator's location, such as White's Landing and Toyon, will continue using their own generators until infrastructure repairs are made.
SCE crews have completed their initial assessment of one of the island's two interior electrical circuits. A detailed assessment of the second will be completed later this week. The island's third circuit, which primarily serves Avalon, was largely undamaged by the fire.
SCE provides Catalina residents with electricity, water, and natural gas services.
SCE reminds customers affected by the fire of the safety measures that are important under emergency conditions:
Never attempt to move a downed power line
Check on neighbors and loved ones to determine if they need your assistance
Use flashlights, not candles
Turn off appliances before leaving your home to ensure safety if power is restored while you are gone
Other Service Restoration Facts
Augmenting SCE's Catalina-based personnel are 51 electric distribution construction and maintenance personnel, 23 trucks, a utility crane, and other heavy equipment on loan from SCE utility service centers in Santa Ana, Santa Monica, Dominguez Hills, South Bay, Long Beach, Whittier and Kernville. SCE crews are working extended hours.
SCE will be bringing in heavy-lift aircraft this weekend to assist with power pole sets in rough terrain.
SCE crews have restored all gas service with the exception of approximately 10 unoccupied homes. These customers will receive service once turn-on appointments can be made.
The island's fresh drinking water supply is normal. SCE crews continue to make progress repairing portions of the water infrastructure that were damaged by the fire. SCE portable generators are powering some drinking water wells and pumps until electrical service to the interior can be restored.
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.8 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.