San Diego Gas & Electric officials yesterday announced they had restored electrical service to all customers who experienced outages related to last month’s wildfires.
SDG&E, contractor and mutual-aid crews from around the Western United States have worked 16-hour days to assess damage and restore service to the 80,000 customers who lost power at some point during the wildfires, which started Oct. 21.
The massive restoration effort has entailed replacement of 1880 poles, 290 transformers and about 35 miles of overhead electrical wire. More than 1200 field personnel were involved with the restoration effort, including 475 mutual-aid employees sent by sister utility Southern California Gas Co., Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, Sierra Pacific Power, Salt River Project and the Imperial Irrigation District."Throughout this difficult time, we’ve been appreciative of the patience our customers have demonstrated: The fire damage was extensive and, in some places, we had to rebuild whole sections of our electrical system," said Debra L. Reed, president and chief executive officer of SDG&E. "We set an aggressive goal to restore electrical service by yesterday to all of the customers affected by the wildfires, and I’m pleased we met our goal, thanks to the dedication of our crews who have worked tirelessly over the past three weeks.”Rebuilding fire-damaged electrical infrastructure began before the fires were extinguished. By Nov. 4, power had been restored to more than 97 percent of customers affected by the fires. Outages continued in rural areas where rugged, mountainous terrain has required more than 250 utility poles to be set by helicopter.
Crews continue to repair three smaller transmission lines damaged by the fire, as well as clean-up SDG&E staging sites in fire-damaged areas.