NewsLocal News


SDG&E plans outages as customers brace for heat

Posted at 8:20 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 12:59:58-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego Gas and Electric has planned outages throughout this week which will affect customers across San Diego County.

The move comes as the region faces a heatwave, and while many customers may not want to embrace the heat, SDG&E says they have their reasons for shutting the power off.

Sonia Islam is a Kensington resident who had her power shut off last week.

"Yea it was bad, yea it was really bad," she said.

She says while she received notices by email from SDG&E, nothing could have prepared her for the heat she experienced.

"We kind of thought, 'Oh what is happening, the light is out! Okay!' So it was there for the whole night, and they actually went over the planned planning time," said Islam.

In North Park, about 40 customers were impacted by a planned outage Tuesday. Among the residents is Graham Hollis, who says his home has had the power shut off multiple times within the last month. His biggest concern was no internet, or timeline for when it would be back.

"You never really knew when it was going to happen so it was like from 8 to 5 or 9 to 5, and then it's not happening and then all of a sudden boom it goes off," Hollis said.

SDG&E says the reason for Hollis' outage is a power pole that needed to be replaced due to rotten wood. A company spokesperson said this particular pole posed a safety threat, as it could have fallen over.

The power company has released a map with planned outages this week. The reasons for these outages range from repairing equipment to updating systems. But the majority of these planned outages revolve around wildfire mitigation, which prevents the risks of a wildfire to any given community.

"We have to work with the resources we have when we have them," Kevin Geraghty, VP of electric operations and chief safety officer, said. "And again, wildfire work is year-round and any extent that we pause, delay or push this out, it just has a ripple effect of other work."

The company said this is why the work will go on even with the hotter temperatures. SDG&E said they will try their best to work either in the early morning or late at night to avoid any unwanted heat for customers and their workers. On rare occasions, SDG&E said they may re-schedule the outage.

Geraghty expressed that the main goal of their work and the outages is to fix any problems before it's too late.

"We know those same customers who I appreciate, do not want to see these short outages today, I know they have also shared with us that they want us focused on making their services and their community store resilient so they don't face longer outages once real fire weather shows up," Geraghty said.

Hollis, who happens to be one of those customers, says he will just cool off outside, knowing that the crews who working near his home are ensuring the safety of his neighborhood.

"We are fine," he said with a laugh. "We managed just okay."