MORONGO BASIN — A press release from Caltrans warning of a three-day power outage across the Southern California desert is not accurate, the Hi-Desert Star has confirmed from Southern California Edison.

There is no potential power outage planned to stretch across San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles counties from Thursday afternoon through Saturday, Jennifer Cusack, government relations manager for Southern California Edison, said just after 5 p.m. Thursday.

Edison might shut off power in Lucerne Valley, Palmdale, Apple Valley and other parts of Southern California — the “other” high desert, but the Morongo Basin will not be affected, Cusack said.

Edison customers who might be affected by the power outage in other parts of the desert have already been notified by the utility company using telephone or email — in the same way Edison notifies its customers when the power goes out, Cusack said.

“It does not necessarily mean the power will be out the whole time,” Cusack said. She emphasized it was a potential power outage, not a sure thing, and it is not planned to reach into the Morongo Basin.

There are power outages planned in neighborhoods in the Morongo Basin, including Yucca Valley and Yucca Mesa, in the near future, but they have been planned for some time and customers in the affected area were notified by postcards.

Caltrans held a public meeting Wednesday in Yucca Valley where Cusack warned that the utility may knock out the power in the Morongo Basin if windy and dry conditions elevate the fire danger. She said that Edison would alert customers directly before that happens, however.

Caltrans released a “commuter alert” Thursday titled, “Power outages possible in desert regions.”

The release says Edison has announced possible power outages for Public safety Power Shutoff” due to high fire danger.

It states the outage will begin Thursday afternoon and continue through Saturday and says communities affected are Apple Valley, Victorville, Hesperia, Lucerne Valley “and unincorporated San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties.”

It also states signals might be affected on Old Woman Springs Road.

The press release from Caltrans, which was also circulated by the CHP, is not accurate, Cusack confirmed.

(2) comments


Power outages in all these areas. Traffic light out on Old Woman Springs Rd. All because of a little wind? Who are you trying to kid. It's been windy for 200 years and suddenly NOW we are cutting power. People can't live in the desert without electricity....they will get sick and have heat strokes. The electric company thinks it's all just fine simply because they are warning us in advance. It's not fine.


News that the Morongo Basin will not be affected by Maintenance Outages is misleading. Power in Sky Harbor will be out all day Thursday from 8:30 to 5:30. Ms. Cusack's remarks only apply to the much wider outages reported by Cal Trans. You have to read her remarks almost to the end to get an accurate picture. The salient information to those of us who live here was buried in a vague statement toward the end. She mentions virtually in passing that there are Maintainance outages in specific neighborhoods, which she claims have been in the works for a long time, the news of which was given to affected residents through postcards. That statement is patently false. Some did got them, and others did not. Unfortunately, some of my neighbors who had been alarmed when they did not receive alerts were lulled into complacency by the article in the Star. I have spent hours trying to get accurate information and did receive a message from Cusack on the NextDoor site, giving me a telephone number to call to get an update. All I would need was the outage number, which of course was information only available on the postcard I never got. A neighbor who did get a notice was good enough to post it (#981534) on the NextDoor site. When I checked it this afternoon, a Maintenance Outage remains scheduled for a portion of Sky Harbor on Thursday, June 27, from 8:30 - 5:30. Information as to the boundaries is not available.

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