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SoCal power shutoffs leave thousands in Tehachapi without power

Posted at 12:56 AM, Oct 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-31 03:56:19-04

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — According to Southern California Edison, nearly 13,000 people in Kern County are without power due to an unplanned power shut off caused by high winds.

SoCal Edison says that the Public Safety Power Shutoffs are in place due to weather conditions that may create the potential for elevated fire risk.

"In the Tehachapi area we were looking at weather 48 hours out and expecting the worse of the winds to hit," said Robert Villegas a spokesperson of Southern California Edison.
"Then what happened is that the winds were immediately upon the area and our folks in the field looked at the situation, determined the need to de-energize several circuits."

Many individuals near the Tehachapi region tell 23ABC that the SoCal Edison website never showed outages. This is similar to Kelci Millovitcsh who lives in Golden Hills and has been without power since 3:30 Wednesday morning.

She says that this is the second time this week her power, which is through Southern California Edison, has been shut off without notice.
"That is the most frustrating part the not knowing," said Millovitcsh. "This is the fourth time the power has been turned off in the last six months and I have had to replace groceries."

Millovitcsh has not received any notification still from SoCal Edison before or after her power was shut off.

She says she understands the need for safety but believes improvement is needed in regards to communication.

The city manager of Tehachapi echoes the same sentiments and says that they are powering a handful of buildings through generators.

"No one expects the City of Tehachapi to be without power and we have also rented back up generators so we have back up," Garrett said. "We want to be really sure that things are running well. We are paying $1700 a week for these generators for four weeks now because we don’t trust what Southern California Edison on what they tell us is going to come true."

Garrett says 90 percent of the City of Tehachapi is without power and the economic impact this is having on the area is unmeasurable.

"Communications between the public and SCE is so much to be desired and this is not rocket science," said Garrett. "There are some facilities in our area that don’t have power and then there are areas in the downtown area that has power, why is that? I think you can isolate circuits within circuits. I don’t think they understand what’s on and off completely. It's very frustrating."

Southern California Edison says that there are not sure when the power will be restored and it all depends on the weather conditions.
Also, they want to remind the community to make sure that they have updated their contact information for their account.