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.