Latest WeHo Electrical Outage Attributed to ‘Failed Underground Equipment’

It was just after 7 a.m. this past Saturday morning when the electricity went out for thousands of West Hollywood residents, leaving them unable to cook, do the laundry, watch TV or go onto the internet. 

The outage also had an effect on local businesses, with some unable to manage their cash registers or, if they were restaurants, prepare their food.  All in all about 12,000 of the more than 30,000 customers in West Hollywood were affected by the outage according to Southern California Edison.

According to SCE three circuits out of its Fairfax substation were interrupted. “SCE preliminary reports attribute the cause to failed underground equipment — a failed 200 AMP elbow and then the replacement of cable — near Santa Monica Boulevard and Hancock Avenue,” said a statement from SCE using a technical reference to “ampere,” which is a unit of electric current. “Most customers were restored by 8:25 a.m. Saturday (4/20) and all power was restored at 8:04 a.m. on Sunday (4/21) to the remaining approximately 300.”

The outage was one of several that have occurred in West Hollywood this year, with residents and businesses in some areas affected more than others.  “WTF @SCE?! Our power has been out for 18 hours and much of West Hollywood is in the dark. This is the fifth major outage this year.  Get your sh@@ together,” read a Twitter post by one local resident at 8:51 p.m. this past Saturday.

SCE is responding to a request from WEHOville for more data on outages in West Hollywood and their causes, which will take some time.  Meanwhile, SCE’s 2018 Circuit Reliability Review (the latest available) gives some data about how SCE’s service is working for West Hollywood.  That data covers 2017.  The 2018 report will be available in mid-May. 

System average interruption frequency index. Data from SCE 2018 Circuit Reliability Review

West Hollywood is served by 23 circuits and is part of SCE’s Santa Monica District.  SCE uses two measures of reliability of its electric circuits.  The System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) measures the amount of time the average SCE customer experienced a power outage or interruption for more than five minutes (called a “sustained outage”) in a given year.  The System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) is the number of times the average SCE customer experienced a sustained outage in a given year. Then there is the MAIFI measure, which is the amount of the number of times the average customer is interrupted by  “momentary ” (lasting 5 minutes or less) outages each year.

SCE’s Santa Monica District, which includes Beverly Hills, Culver City, Franklin Canyon, Ladera Heights, Los Angeles, Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica and Universal City as well as West Hollywood, had a good 2017 ranking.  Among the 35 SCE districts in Southern California, it ranked No. 33 on SAIDI index, meaning that 32 other cities had more outages of five minutes or more.  It ranked No. 30 on the SAIFI index, which means that customers in 29 other cities experienced more sustained outages in 2017 than did those in West Hollywood.

In 2017, West Hollywood customers experienced an average of 70.3 minutes of sustained interruptions over the course of the year.  That compares with an average of 139.7 minutes for all of SCE’s customers. 

System average interruption duration index. Data from SCE 2018 Circuit Reliability Review

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Jeremy
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Jeremy

The power was not restored until 11:30am on Sunday for my business on Santa Monica Blvd and Westbourne. Additionally there were two power outages of more than 5 min between Sunday and Monday. I can accept that things fail and may need to be fixed or upgraded, but the last year has had 5 major outages in which I had to bring business to a halt and inconvenience our customers. In turn this harms staff with reduced hours and lastly the loss of supplies due to interrupted power. None of this feels taken into account with SCEs notices nor do… Read more »

JF
Guest
JF

It’s ridiculous how often our power goes out. Lived in many cities over the years and have never lived in an area with so many power outages. SCE get your act together!

carleton croninc
Guest
carleton croninc

In time everything wears out. SCE is no different than my bedroom slippers. That outfit was behind the times when I was on the PCEA Safety Board thirty years ago.
(However, thanx for the new utility pole, which replaces one set in 1964.) Electric utilities now depend upon contractors for most of their maintenance work and that explains some of the problems. But, BIG utilities days are numbered by new thinking of how to generate and deliver power.

John on Hancock
Guest
John on Hancock

Thanks for covering this. Yes, we have their texts with different information. Couldn’t believe it took over 24 hours to get this fixed.

Dolores
Guest
Dolores

Why all of a sudden. I’ve lived in weho 30 years. This has never happened before. Are you sure it’s not because of all the new developments?

Lynn M. Hoopingarner
Guest
Lynn M. Hoopingarner

Point of fact, power was NOT restored to Westbourne Dr. Until 11:25 a.m. Sunday. SCE has not given correct information. I have their email notifying me of restored service as proof–along with the spoiled food and the lost work time.