LOS ANGELES (MARCH 20, 2023) – Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) crews are prepared to respond to any potential power outages that may occur as another heavy rain and wind storm is forecasted to hit Los Angeles tonight through Wednesday. Los Angeles will also be under a high wind watch. This means that there will possibly be winds of up to 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph. These damaging winds could blow down large objects such as trees, or cause branches and palm fronds to strike power lines which could cause power outages.
As with the previous heavy rain and wind storm that began February 24th, tree-related damage to power poles and power lines is likely to occur again. In fact, an estimated 85-percent of outages that occurred during that storm was caused by downed trees. When oversaturated by rain, soil can loosen and uproot trees, especially with the forecasted high winds, that can then fall on power lines and cause outages. If and when that occurs, a crew’s first responsibility is to secure the affected area to protect the public from safety hazards posed by downed trees and power lines, followed by the removal of trees entangling LADWP power poles and power lines. Only after this is done can crews begin to conduct repair work.
LADWP also reminds customers to use caution around any downed or dangling wires or poles. If you see a downed wire, always assume it is LIVE. Do not assume a downed wire is a communication line. Never touch ANY wire that is down or dangling and immediately dial 9-1-1.
In addition to downed trees, flooding and water intrusion into underground electrical systems may also occur, resulting in power outages. When the affected equipment is underground, crews must go from vault to vault to identify the source of the damage before repairs can take place, which can also take time.
In anticipation of the rain storm, LADWP scheduled crews to be available around the clock, including scheduling additional qualified line clearance crews for tree clearing.
In preparation of the storm, LADWP recommends taking the following steps:
- Keep a flashlight and extra batteries nearby. Never use candles in a power outage or other emergency.
- Keep a fully charged cell phone on hand. During power outages, you may lose phone service and your cordless “landline” may also lose power.
- Keep a fully charged portable charger handy incase you need to charge any of your electronics while the power is out.
If power does go out:
- Report outages online at www.ladwp.com/outages or by calling 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397).
- Sign up for outage alerts at www.ladwp.com/outages.
- Switch off all lights, except for one, so you will know when your power has been restored.
- Keep your refrigerator closed to keep food cold.
- Check on vulnerable friends and neighbors to make sure they are safe.
Follow LADWP via Twitter (@ladwp) and NextDoor for potential outage information and updates.