Easy Reader Staff

Third Hermosa power outage in two weeks raises questions [UPDATED]

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About 3,500 customers briefly lost power in Hermosa Beach this morning, bringing the number of power outages due to equipment failure to three in the last two weeks.

The power went out for 30 seconds because overhead equipment failed at Beach Drive and 15th Street, said a Southern California Edison spokesman.

On Thursday, about 3,600 customers were without power when a circuit failed at 5:14 a.m. on Hermosa Avenue north of 26th Street. Power was restored to everyone by 9:20 a.m. A spokesman said an underground high voltage line shorted out, and workmen on the scene said a circuit rusted and caused a “domino effect.”

On Father’s day, the power was out for 4,800 customers, costing restaurants thousand of dollars in lost revenue for the holiday. The cause of the Father’s Day outage was an overhead line at 8th Street and Palm Drive that shorted out, said SCE Spokesman Mark Olson.

At this week’s city council meeting, council member Peter Tucker said the power company needs to provide answers for the power outages over the past couple years.

“I think Edison is not keeping up with their total load demand and not maintaining their system,” Tucker said on Friday. “In the downtown area, it’s probably a much bigger problem than they want to admit to.”

Tucker said many older homes being torn down only required 80-100 amps of power, but most homes built today require 200-400 amps. And some new businesses require at least 400 amps.

“Edison hasn’t kept up with required amp rates and their system is old,” Tucker said.

“We are happy to receive the city’s request to review power reliability in the area of concern,” Olson said. “We will look at the root causes of the power outages. We’ve had a few lately, but we will look back in history to see what the other causes may have been.”

Olson said SCE Regional Manager Scott Gobble will address the city council on the matter soon.

Bill Fisher, a city council member in El Segundo, said his city stopped the numerous power outages by engaging SCE.

“Bottomline… we (the council and mayor) were very vocal to the local Edison rep.  – letters and meetings,” Fisher said in an email.

Friday’s outage affected 3,489 customers bounded by Longfellow Avenue to the north, Rindge Lane in Redondo Beach to the east, Anita-Herondo streets to the south, and the Strand to the west, an SCE spokesman said.

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