LOS ANGELES (AUGUST 18, 2023) – The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is closely monitoring Hurricane Hilary and has taken proactive measures to ensure the safety and reliability of our power and water systems. With the potential for severe weather this weekend and early next week, LADWP is committed to minimizing disruptions and supporting our customers in preparing for the storm.
In anticipation of Hurricane Hilary’s arrival, LADWP Power restoration crews are fully staffed and ready to respond to any power outages caused by the forecasted wind, rain, thunderstorms and flooding. LADWP has additional field crews that regularly work on distribution system construction projects available, ready to assist our Electric Trouble crews to handle any increase in outages that may occur.
Our tree clearing crews will also be available and ready to address outages that could impact power lines and infrastructure caused by downed trees. The most frequent cause of power outages during heavy rain and wind storms is flying debris, like tree branches and palm fronds, that can contact power lines, resulting in outages. Depending on the amount of rain that falls, dried, brittle tree branches and trees can also fall from soaking up an excess amount of moisture. Downed trees can result in extended outages as the affected power lines must be deenergized and the tree cut down and removed, before crews can begin restoration work.
Outages may also occur if rain seeps underground into electrical vaults, causing damage to distribution equipment. Vaults are designed to be waterproof to avoid outages, but can become flooded during intense storm conditions.
When the power goes out, LADWP’s first priority is responding to reports of downed wires and making conditions safe for the public and our crews. Situations involving downed trees and wires pose a significant hazard and restoration work can be delayed while trees are cleared and power lines are de-energized. Be assured that LADWP crews work around the clock and as quickly and safely as possible to restore power in the event of power outages.
LADWP would also like to remind and urge all customers to use caution around downed or dangling power lines or poles. If you see a downed wire, always assume it is LIVE and immediately dial 9-1-1. Never touch any wire that is down or dangling. Even communication lines may become energized during extreme conditions if they make contact with energized power lines.
In addition to power system readiness, LADWP’s Water System is actively monitoring the status of in-basin reservoirs and working closely with its Emergency Response Staff which includes experts in Geotech, Geology, and Reservoir Surveillance. Their expertise ensures that LADWP can swiftly respond to any water-related challenges that Hurricane Hilary may bring. LADWP’s reservoirs have sufficient capacity to handle increased runoff should localized flooding occur. Precautionary measures are also in place to protect the LA Aqueduct.
Customers are encouraged to be prepared for the possibility of power or water interruptions as a result of the forecasted storm and to follow these precautions to ensure their safety:
- Never touch a downed power line! If you see a downed wire, stay away and call 911.
- Keep a flashlight and extra batteries nearby as a power source. Never use candles in a power outage or other emergency.
- Keep a fully charged cell phone on hand. If your power goes out or there are outages in your neighborhood, you may lose phone service and your cordless “land line” may also lose power. Extra portable cell phone batteries are very helpful in the event of an outage.
- Sign up to receive outage alerts via email or text, in either English or Spanish, by visiting ladwp.com/OutageAlert.
- If your power goes out:
- Report it by calling 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397) or online at ladwp.com/outages.
- Switch off all lights, except for one, so you will know when your power has been restored.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to protect their contents.
- Have adequate water supply, emergency supplies such as prescription medication, and an understanding of local evacuation routes.
LADWP’s Customer Call Center will also have increased staffing on Sunday and Monday to respond to customer calls. Additional customer service representatives will be added should outages escalate.
LADWP is committed to the safety and well-being of its customers and the community. The Department will continue to closely monitor Hurricane Hilary’s progression and remain ready to respond effectively to any challenges that may arise. For updates and further information, LADWP regularly shares outage information via its newsroom, Twitter (@LADWP), and NextDoor online platforms that inform affected neighborhoods on the status of their outage.