Jennifer Ramp/Sabra Moallem
San Diego Gas & Electric
SAN DIEGO, Jan. 20, 2010 – Heavy rain and high winds are expected to keep San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) crews busy throughout the night again as forecasters predict the worst of this week’s series of storms will sweep through the region tomorrow.
Utility crews already are being staged this afternoon at operations centers around the service territory. SDG&E plans to open its Emergency Operations Center early tomorrow morning and staff it around-the-clock to coordinate service restoration, communications and logistical support throughout the storms.
Since Monday, approximately 92,000 customers have lost power. SDG&E called in all available crews and has 19 auxiliary contract crews on standby, in anticipation of more weather-related outages, system damage and potential flooding.
“Wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour inland and even stronger gusts in the mountains have blown tree branches and other debris into our lines causing outages,” said David L. Geier, vice president of electric transmission and distribution for SDG&E. “As strong winds return and more rain pounds our community, we could see additional system damage. Our crews are working long hours under difficult storm conditions to restore power as safely and quickly as possible. We appreciate our customers’ understanding and patience as we battle to keep the lights on.”
Outage restoration times will be updated throughout the day on SDG&E’s Web site, http://sdge.com/outages/, which customers can connect to via mobile devices, if computers or phones are down. Outage updates also are available on Twitter, @SDGE.
Additionally, SDG&E is offering the following storm safety tips:
• Be sure not to touch any downed lines, as the lines may still be energized and dangerous.
• Always assume that power lines are energized.
• Keep a battery-operated radio and flashlights handy in case the power goes out. Check the batteries now to make sure the equipment works. Do not rely on candles for lighting during a power outage.
SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 840,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles. Exceptional customer service is a priority of SDG&E as it seeks to enhance the region’s quality of life. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.