LOS ANGELES (MARCH 14, 2023) – Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) crews are prepared and ready to respond to potential power outages as another heavy rain storm is forecasted to hit the southland, including LADWP’s service area tonight, through Wednesday. As with the last 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 the storm were caused by downed trees. When oversaturated by rain, soil can loosen and uproot trees that can fall on power lines, 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, before repair work can even begin.
LADWP 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 heavy rains in the forecast, the Los Angeles area is also under a flood watch. 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 for 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.
If power does go out:
- Report outages online at ladwp.com/outages or by calling 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397)
- 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.