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SDG&E Restoration

Nobody likes being left in the dark, especially when it's unexpected. But when critical fire conditions occur, dangerous Santa Ana winds can blow things like runaway metallic balloons, airborne umbrellas, and pop up tents, dead brush or tree limbs into our power lines. Flying debris, hitting our lines, poles and other equipment has the potential to cause sparks and create the possibility of wildfires. To help prevent this, SDG&E is committed to taking whatever action is needed to help protect you, your family and our community. Sometimes, as a last resort, this may mean turning off power in one or more areas to keep those communities safe from a wildfire.

We call it a Public Safety Power Shutoff or PSPS. When a PSPS occurs, our goal is to restore your power as safely and quickly as possible during daylight hours, making sure both you and our crews stay safe. Before we can restore your power, we have to monitor the weather to see if winds have subsided. Then we check for any damage to our equipment and make necessary repairs so that we can operate them safely.

We do this by having our qualified crews inspect the power lines by helicopter, drone, vehicle or on foot. Sometimes power lines may be affected in the backcountry and not in the city. The terrain in the backcountry is often harder to reach, making it even more difficult for us to conduct our inspections. Even if winds at ground level aren't bad, they can still be very strong at higher elevations making it challenging for our helicopters and drones to fly and get the job done. This is why it can take longer to clear backcountry equipment of any damage as opposed to the city.

After the damage has been assessed our crews can get your power back on, right?

Not just yet. Before any repairs begin, as one last safety check, our crews will wait for an "all clear" from the control center confirming there are no other system concerns, and our equipment is safe to work on.

Remember, our promise is to restore your power as safely and quickly as possible, but it's not as easy as "flipping a switch." We do this in phases - specific steps that help protect our employees, our communities and our equipment.

As damages are being prioritized for repairs, there are also places that receive priority and having their power restored. Places like hospitals, nursing homes, police and fire stations, as well as water and sewage treatment facilities. After that, our crews will focus on the areas where they can get the most customers restored in the shortest amount of time. But this ultimately depends on wind and other potential fire conditions.

Still don't see our crews on your street?

Often problems on one street are part of an even bigger problem, blocks or miles away. So just because you don't see our crews, doesn't mean they aren't working on restoring your power. Once the lines or other equipment have been repaired and inspected and conditions are safe, power is restored.

Even when you don't see us, we are working to get your power back on as safely and quickly as we can. You can count on us to expect the unexpected and be prepared to help keep you safe.

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