Tens of thousands lose power for day

Stormwater turns a dry wash into a raging river in Twentynine Palms Thursday afternoon.

MORONGO BASIN — The monsoon storm that swept through parts of the Basin knocked out power to around 23,400 Southern California connections all day Thursday and into Friday morning.

For some, the power was out for more than 24 hours, Edison spokesperson Taelor Bakewell said.

The power went out at 6:52 a.m. Thursday due to lightning, another spokesperson, Sally Jeun, said.

Line crews worked through the day and night, but the storm continued to cause problems.

“There were multiple interruptions. It wasn’t just one lightning strike,” Jeun said. “There were multiple incidents because of storm conditions.”

The outages affected a widespread area, including Yucca Valley, Morongo Valley, Pioneertown, Twentynine Palms and Amboy.

Most customers had their power restored by midnight but some did not get power back until 9 a.m. Friday.

For some in the Morongo Basin, this was the third time the power went out unexpectedly this week.

Johnson Valley resident and Hi-Desert Star columnist Betty Munson said the lights went out in her community on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“When I called for updates, SCE informed me at various times: The crew is aware of the problem and will respond in five hours; power will be restored at 6 p.m. Then 11 p.m.,” Munson said via email.

Then she was told additional service crews were needed and the power would be restored at 2 a.m.

“I called SCE this again morning to ask some questions about these unusual events,” Munson wrote in her Thursday evening email.

“I finally got to talk to a human. I was told the report read, ‘Equipment failure due to weather conditions, most likely due to heat.’”

When she asked if that was true for both the Monday and Tuesday outages, the Edison representative told her it was a broken cross arm, she said.

(2) comments


It's 2019. You would think SCE could build power lines that wouldn't fall apart in a moderate storm. Perhaps if their top management would take a say, 5% pay cut, they could afford power lines that wouldn't go out out every time a coyote howls. I have a back-up generator (yes it wired into the home correctly so there won't be any feed back). The amount SCE charges for power, I expect it to be more reliable.


How can a huge company like SCE have the worst information system in existence? Outage map! Good luck. My dog knows more about the power out than any SCE staff person. Their website is in constant state of failure. Ooops, we're experiencing issues. Why can virtually every run a stable website except for SCE?

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