San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) employees are working around the clock pulling in all available resources to restore service to customers affected by the most damaging wildfires in San Diego County's history.

"We're pulling out all the stops to restore energy service to our customers, with more than 1000 SDG&E employees in the field working around the clock," said Edwin A. Guiles, chairman of SDG&E. "All fire-related electrical outages have been restored in the city of San Diego and we're continuing our efforts in the outlying areas of the county. We are hopeful that we will have 80% of the remaining outages restored by this weekend. We've informed customers that final service restoration to customers in outlying areas may take a week or longer, due to extensive equipment damage."p Restoration efforts included securing poles from as far away as Washington and Oregon, and enlisting assistance from more than 200 employees of neighboring California and Arizona utilities. Additional equipment and supplies from other utilities continue to be flown or trucked in to help restore power.

To put the restoration challenge in perspective, more than 1700 poles were burned during the current firestorm, compared with 128 poles during last year's Pines fire.

Damage

  • More than 300 miles of overhead wire has to be restrung.
  • More than a one-year supply of poles, crossarms and transformers will be used to make repairs in just a few weeks.
  • Seventeen major transmission lines are out of service and have to be rebuilt -- a job that normally would take months, but will be completed over the next few weeks.
  • Some fires are still burning, making it difficult for SDG&E crews to make repairs and restore service in those areas.