SoCal Edison blames poor management for Long Beach outages
- Electrical vault explosions from a failed cable splice that caused outages for tens of thousands of Long Beach residents this summer came from a series of missteps that originated in mismanagement from Southern California Edison, the Los Angeles Times reports.
- Two reports released from the utility said poor oversight and inadequate knowledge led to the July 15 outage and another from July 30-Aug. 3, the worst in nearly 60 years.
- The utility has taken steps to address its shortcomings, including a thorough investigation of every underground vault in downtown Long Beach, additional employee training, and more inspections of the grid.
Earlier this summer, the California Public Uitlities Commission ordered SCE to conduct an "extraordinary" investigation of its electrical grid after a series of fires and explosions in undergound vaults caused several power outages in Long Beach.
The two reports — one from the company and the other from an independent consulting firm — found that, in addition to poor oversight, the company also failed to consistently update the network's maps, which were inaccurate.
The utility's "unique" electrical grid is powered by a loop of electrical lines with no centralized beginning or end; consequently, if a line fails, power can flow through other circuits. However, this meant repair was slow because SCE workers could only identify the cause through a trial-and-error process of switching lines on and off.
SCE has shelled out some $1.8 million for thousands of claims by residents and businesses filed since the outage, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports. The city is also seeking $435,000 in damages, according to a claim filed in October.
The CPUC is conducting its own probe into the July incidents and said it will incorporate the reports into its own findings.
- Los Angeles Times Edison blames mismanagement for power outages in Long Beach
- Long Beach Press-Telegram SCE reveals what caused July’s power outages in Long Beach
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