DWP Leaves Some LA Homes in the Dark

The DWP says over 200,000 of its customers lost power since heavy winds downed power lines and blew out transformers on Wednesday.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Some LA Homes left in the dark after Wednesday's heavy winds will be without power for more than the LADWP's claim of restoring power within 24-48 hours. (Published Friday, Dec 2, 2011)

    In the wake of the massive wind storms that left LA and surrounding communitiesin a state of emergency, some LA homes could be without electricity for several more days, despite assurances from the LADWP that they would restore power sooner than that.

    The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power says more than 200,000 of its customers lost power since heavy winds downed power lines and blew out transformers on Wednesday.

    In all of its public statements, the DWP has said customers experiencing outages would have power back “24-48 hours” from the time they lost it, and “many customers will experience shorter outages.”

    NBC4 asked DWP Spokesman Joseph Ramallo why it's been publicly pledging to restore power to customers in 24-48 hours, when that didn’t always appear to be the case.

    “There will be exceptions,” Ramallo said. “We're doing the best we can,” he added.

    Ramallo said the DWP is amending its official statement to say a "small percentage of our customers may experience outages lasting longer than 48 hours."

    The change came after NBC4 contacted the DWP and asked about residents who were being privately told by DWP employees that they could be in the dark for a lot longer than two days.

    “It could be through the weekend, basically, is what they told us,” said Larchmont area resident Vicki Podberesky, whose home lost power Wednesday night.

    When NBC4 called DWP Customer Service, a representative told us that repairman are focusing first on neighborhoods where a large number of customers are without power.

    That’s why Vicki Podberesky’s home still has no electricity. Only about 60 of the 1100 homes and businesses in her area are without power.

     NBC4 asked DWP Spokesman Joseph Ramallo why it was publicly pledging to restore power to customers in 24-48 hours, when that isn't always the case.

    “There will be exceptions,” Ramallo said, “We're doing the best we can."

    Ramallo later called us to say the DWP is updating its estimate, to say that a small portion of its customers could be without power longer than 48 hours.

    He said most customers should have power back by Sunday, but, he added, "there could be circumstances that could change that."

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