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Sunday, June 23, 2024

147,000 households lose electricity in LA due to heavy snowstorm

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[KIN SANG-JIN]
The worst winter storm to hit Southern California in 34 years has caused serious damage, with tens of thousands of households having to survive without electricity for days.

According to the LA Metropolitan Power Administration (LADWP), about 27,600 households have lost electricity in the afternoon of 27th.

The LADWP said more than 147,000 out of about 1.5 million households receiving electricity suffered power outages due to trees falling on to the utility polls from severe wind, heavy rain and flooding.

The blackouts range from Park La Brea to Hancock Park, Hollywood, Los Feliz, Woodland Hills, Chatsworth, Van Nuys, and Atwater Village.

In the case of Park La Brea, the electricity was back on after 12 hours on the 24th, but for some areas like Hancock Park, the outage lasted four days until the 27th.

In the case of Tarzana area near Woodland Hills, a tall tree fell on a utility poll from severe wind causing a wide-range power outage, but the restoration work did not even began until three days after the report was filed.

In response, the LADWP explained that the recovery team is operating 24 hours a day, but it takes time to restore power because they are experiencing more than 800 power outages around the city. In the process, one employee was electrocuted and rushed to the hospital while working on restoring power in the San Fernando Valley area on the 25th.

Edison, Southern California, which covers parts of Orange County, San Bernardino and Los Angeles County, also has about 3,000 households living in the dark due to power outages in more than 60 places so far.

In addition to the blackout, frequent reports of isolation and physical damage caused by landslides and heavy snow have also been made.

In the case of La Cañada Flintridge, a landslide forced three households to evacuate around 4 p.m. on the 26th. According to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, a 40-foot mud poured down from the top of the mountain towards the residences’ backyards, sinking roofs and burying some of the houses.

San Bernardino County area experienced more than 60 inches of snowfall, which forced the area to close off roads. The California Transportation Authority (Caltrans) has blocked Route 18 to Lake Arrowhead since the 24th.

600 elementary and middle school students from the Irvine Unified School District who went on a Science Camp near Big Bear for five days from the 21st were originally scheduled to return on the 24th. However, they were stranded by heavy snow, and could not return home until the 27th.

The Irvine District Office of Education announced on the 27th that “a school bus carrying students arrived safely under the guidance of the California Expressway Patrol (CHP).”

Some local residents, including seniors living near Big Bear, are also expressing concern with cold as well as groceries after the National Weather Service’s (NWS) forecasted that heavy snow will fall in the area until the 1st of next month.

“Tractor trailers carrying groceries and other items for the currently isolated residents are being transported to Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear area with the help of emergency ambulance,” the Transport Department said.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health warned not to go into the water due to possible contamination and water pollution.

 

BY NICOLE CHANG [chang.nicole@koreadaily.com]