Southern California Edison is considering a public safety power shutoff for southern parts of Santa Barbara County starting tonight due to fire weather conditions.
Winds have picked up this evening, putting areas which have not yet lost power at risk of wildfires. A fire has broken out in the Painted Cave area off State Route 154 but the cause has not been determined..
The power outages may impact 4,000 customers in parts of Carpinteria; Montecito; Summerland; Hope Ranch; El Sueno; Cold Spring Canyon; Painted Cave; Par; Via Huerto (unincorporated area between the cities of Goleta and Santa Barbara, starting from Paradise Road down Turnpike Road to More Mesa); and the unincorporated area west of Goleta between Gaviota State Park and Jalama Beach County Park.
To determine if you live or work in or near a potential outage area, visit www.sce.com/safety/wildfire/psps and input your address.
Customers in those areas have been notified by Edison that they are being considered for a shutoff, said Edison spokeswoman Susan Cox.
Edison typically sends out a notification that an area is being considered for a power shutoff at a certain time 48 hours in advance, followed by an update 24 hours later. Another 24-hour status update is then given to inform customers whether their power has been shut off or not and if the notification has been lifted, Ms. Cox said.
Although residents in those areas are encouraged to prepare for multiple days without power, SCE cannot predict how long shutoffs may last as they are dictated by the weather. If there is a shutoff, power will not be restored until the weather permits and Edison crews are able to inspect the lines and determine that it is safe to re-energize.
“It’s hard to say this is going to happen or that’s not going to happen just because of the weather. We do have crews and meteorologists monitoring the conditions that could be affected by the strong wings and the gusts,” said Ms. Cox.
Although the city of Goleta is not currently being considered for a shutoff, city officials urged residents to be aware and prepared.
“The reason we’re sending out information even though Goleta is not one of the areas that is being considered for a Public Safety Power Shutoff, is we want residents to be aware that there could be residual impacts if surrounding areas have a power outage, and also just in case the weather changes and we become an area that is considered,” said city spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.
With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching those in areas not affected should still be aware of traffic signal outages, whether businesses they depend on are operating, and if family or friends in those areas may lose power.
While other California counties have experienced shutoffs, Santa Barbara County has thus far avoided them, Ms. Cox said. Residents are encouraged to make preparations for a possible multiple day power outage lasting as long as five to seven days and check on friends and neighbors to make sure they are prepared. Call Edison directly at 800-611-1911 or visit www.sce.com/safety/wildfire/psps with questions related to this potential outage. Santa Barbara County residents can also visit readysbc.org for more news and resources.