Planned Outage Sparks Outrage
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
CREATED May. 29, 2013
It's becoming common here in the desert -- planned power outages by Southern California Edison.
Residents in Palm Springs are upset about one planned for this past Tuesday that has been pushed back to the middle of June when it'll likely be even hotter than it is now.
Residents want to know why SCE is planning power outages during these hot months and in the middle of the day.
People in the Mountain Shadow and Fairway communities waited for Tuesday's planned outage with dread.
"Yesterday people started panicking, some people packed up and left and about noon, when it still had not occurred we thought oh gosh, is this going to go even later," said Jolie of Palm Springs.
They called and found out the outage was rescheduled for June 12th when it's sure to be even hotter.
"People could get heat stroke, people could end up in the hospital this could turn into something really serious," said Jolie.
Another neighbor, Joseph Morris, worries about his family.
"My other half that's at home all day, my child comes home at 2 o'clock in the afternoon," said Palm Springs resident, Joseph Morris.
Lights off also means no fridge, Joseph says he's tired of these planned outages.
"It's like they do this every year, some type of power outage, it's very inconvenient, especially in the summer months, there's a big retirement community here," said Joseph.
And it will be lights off in Palm Desert at Parkview Drive and Monterey Avenue for about 150 customers this Wednesday, but one of the main differences is this planned power outage is during the nighttime hours.
"There's no reason why they're not conducting this as an overnight outage or even early morning maybe 4 or 5am until 10," said Jolie.
"We do our best not to inconvenience the customer and provide safe and reliable and affordable service, and the planned outages do have to occur in order for us to maintain our system for reliability," said SCE Local Public Affairs Manager, Nina McCullough.
SCE told us based on the type of work and city requirements sometimes the outages must be during the day.
They do routine system inspections, which can turn up problems.
"Sometimes we will find more in summer time based on what the heat wear does to our system," said McCullough.
The desert's sweltering summertime heat not only takes a toll on equipment, but people.
"They said that when there was a heatwave that they would reschedule but we've tried to explain that in the desert from approximately May until September that there is a constant heat wave," said Jolie.
So residents ask SCE to please reschedule for cooler months, "Not the time of year in the middle of summer, because you guys should know better than that, they obviously, don't they have families, don't they have homes around here?"
We contacted the other major power company in the desert, the Imperial Irrigation District.
The Officer of Media Communications, Marion Champion, sent us this statement, "Whenever possible, IID avoids planned outages in the summer months. We do this by scheduling and performing preventative system maintenance in the cooler months. Sometimes when there is an equipment failure, we may be forced to take a planned outage in the summer; however, we do everything we can to shift this work to the evening hours and try to minimize the amount of time our customers are without power."