Results of Buzz Reader Poll on July Power Outages

Map showing responses to the Buzz’s recent reader poll about the July power outages. For an interactive version and more detailed explanation of the color key, see below.

With yet another heatwave scheduled to peak today, and with LADWP officials scheduled to give a presentation about the July 6-8 heatwave power outages at tomorrow night’s GWNC board meeting (7:30 p.m. at the Ebell of Los Angeles, 4400 Wilshire Blvd.), this seemed like a great time to pull together the reader responses from our recent poll about the multiple outages during the July heat storm.

Overall, the poll received 82 responses, more than 80% from people who had lost power on that exceptionally warm weekend.

Respondents also provided information about their location, and the specific number of outages they experienced.  We used that data to create the following interactive map, showing where the outages were, and how many outages each respondent experienced.  Gray pins show residents who had no outages during the July 4-6 weekend.  Blue pins show respondents who had one outagePurple pins represent two outages…and red pins indicate three outages during that weekend. (Use the +/- buttons to zoom in or out, and click on each pin to show the address – or, if no exact address was given, the block (e.g. 600 S. Lucerne) – where each outage occurred.) In general, it looks like the majority of the outages occurred in the Larchmont Village and Windsor Square areas…with Windsor Square definitely taking the hardest hits.

also, many people submitted additional comments about their experiences, or pleas for the city to respond and keep such outages from occurring in the future.  We’ve divided the comments into those two categories (some comments have been split into remarks fitting each of the two categories):

Personal experiences

Our power goes out often but we can’t survive 95 degrees in the house at 10pm. I took my dog and one of my cats that I could catch and waited in line for an hour at a hotel by the airport friday night. we bought a generator and tried to use it on Sunday night but it was too loud for the neighbors and we can’t connect our ac/heating unit to it anyway so it was a waste of money. I put in our 30 day notice to avoid a month of lost power but we haven’t lost power since that weekend so we’re going to stay here. The owner of my duplex refused to install a back-up generator for the property, she thought it was a ridiculous request for someone living in the middle of a big city.

Had to throw out lots of food. 

Probably not in Buzz area but outrage was very widespread.

Also lost internet for 8 hours on afternon of July 7. 

I have had to repair garage door operation and no air conditioning even now. Something blown out because of the surge and will be repaired tomorrow. This itemss cost a lot of money to repair not to
mention the food from the freezer and refrigerator.

Called LADWP often to no avail. Refrigerators and freezers had to be cleaned out with spoilage. Additionally, we had to endure uncomfortable temperature within the house.

We also had a couple of brief outages Tuesday and Wednesday. 

 I live in the back, the front house was down a lot longer. 

We actually checked into a hotel with our dog on Sunday because of the heat and our need to get sleep for work on Monday. We suffer power outages all the time when it rains, is windy or hot.

My power was out for 33 hours.

I’m happy to discuss this – I have blackouts constantly – sometimes for 2 days- have ruined Christmas Eve dinner etc.

When east side of S. Citrus goes out, west side remains on and vice versa. Street lights historically go out 1-2 x’s a year for about a week.

We are most thankful to have had continuing power during this horrible heat wave!

Kinda weird our power didn’t go out — usually it does! 

Our power grid seems to go from Melrose to Rosewood. Frequently houses on the 300 and 400 blocks lose power while 500 and 600 do not. Our electrical lines are overhead. They go underground at Rosewood.

We have virtually never had a power outage in 20 years here.

We have power, but only to a portion of the house. We are concerned that our home electrical system and our appliances may have been damaged.

we have frequent outages on the east side of Norton due to rain, wind, whatever. Sometimes the west side of the street is not affected.

We only have power to about 25 per cent of our house and are concerned about the power coming into our house or perhaps DWP outage has caused damage to our internal system.

 We were in the quadrant affected by the transformer explosion that took place on the 5100 block of Clinton St. on Friday night.

There was a really bad auto accident, Sunday evening at Highland and 6th St. It was caused by the traffic lights at the intersection have gone completely dead (no blinking red lights in either direction).

I’m fairly certain 300 block of N. Bronson is on 2 grids, the east side of 300 N. Bronson went dark when the tree on Clinton fell late Friday night 7/6, the west side of N. Bronson only lost power briefly early Saturday 7/7.

We had some lighting available in the house, but it was very dim. All other items (washer/dryer, stove, microwave, tv’s, refrigerator, wireless, etc.) were out completely.

We are on the West side of the street and were ALWAYS the ones that lost power but during the last power outage last year, DWP ran new electrical cable and so far, so good!

We have also been affected by wind and rain in the past. 

Pleas, comments and suggestions to city government

We need to go above ground for our power! [Note:  this is a reference to the fact that many of our neighborhoods’ power lines are below ground, which made them harder for DWP to repair.]

Absolutely no DWP help. A customer service hotline should have been set up to inform consumers. Unfeeling response every time I called.

Why are new high density developments being approved while the current energy system cannot handle the needs of the residents? Also, foresight must be given to the water needs before expansion of users.

Thank you for doing this. Our infrastructure is beyond failing in our neighborhood.

Calling DWP is not helpful. 

Need to establish some cooling centers in immediate area — like Van Ness Elementary, local church halls, YMCA, etc. for seniors/residents who may not be able to drive or those whose cars are trapped behind electric gates/garage doors, etc. There should be a shuttle made available for these rare occasions such as the one parked near Gower and Melrose — if it runs.

The number of days over the course of a year that we have no power is increasing. Measure in number of hours we have an extraordinarily high level of system failure for an urban area. Not an established fact, but would guess that old electrical “systems” are being used to handle increased loads….no homes had AC when the system was built, any updates since the neighborhood was developed have been piecemeal to fix specific problems not a comprehensive view. Have lived in our home for over 30 years and have seen nothing but increased power outages.

 The DWP website had terrible information. At one point, the Windsor Square and Larchmont areas were not on the outage list even though the power was obviously still out. Our power goes out way too often.

Everyone is well aware that the power grid in this neighborhood is among the most outdated the city, and yet the politicians allow for more and more development that overwhelms the system. This neighborhood is also aware of the systemic corruption at the DWP, from financial incentives for excessive overtime to backdoor payments to the city of LA not to mention political donations. DWP is not investing in infrastructure despite being one of the most profitable in the country. This neighborhood has a disproportionate number of the vulnerable population (elderly, children, and animals) – updating the power supply needs to become a political priority

Unacceptable and unprecedented. We need action. 

So frustrating. This has been the case every time there is any chance of power outage city wide. For the last 14 years, my block is always dark, although the apartments on my south side NEVER go out and the West side of Rossmore is always lit as well. Its time for the grid to be updated! It was extremely dangerous this past weekend as people that were driving blew thru intersections with dead traffic lights! I saw a number of accidents, crazy that the 2nd biggest city in the United States falls apart when the summer starts.

 I blame LADWP for not keeping up with population needs…I want action!

Get your act together DWP. Disgraceful. 

It is really unacceptable that our power was out for 36 hours in a big city like LA. We are not a Third World country!

Get David Ryu off his ass and organize a community form to discuss what happened and what can be done to prevent outages in future! [Note:  see the above information about a DWP discussion at tomorrow night’s GWNC Board meeting]

LADWP has steadily increased rates on the basis of improving infrastructure. The heat this past weekend, which LADWP pointed to as the cause of the outages, was not all that unusual for Los Angeles. All indications are that we are in a climate that is going to produce more extreme heat days than have been experienced in the past. The infrastructure needs to be updated and improved to handle current demand levels, and not simply repaired when power outages develop. Repairing is simply going to become the norm, outage after outage, unless the basic problems are confronted and infrastructure upgraded.

I think your survey would also benefit by collecting data on how frequently over the last 5/10/15/20/25 years customers in the recently affected outages experienced problems. In our case, this is a CHRONIC issue. One which we’re no longer willing to accept. Action needs to be taken. Our Mayor and our Councilman are accountable for addressing this problem. It’s not OK. We pay sometimes $2000 a month (in the summer) to DWP. We should have a minimum expectation that we will have power … when we need it the most. Only 2 things I want now from our elected leaders … FIX OUR POWER and FIX OUR STREETS. These must come first.

Most properties in this area have had a power upgrade in the past 10-15 years to accommodate modern appliances, HVAC upgrades and more sophisticated electronics including electric vehicles. The DWP charges large fees for this and cites “improving and maintaining the electrical grid” as part of their upgrade service. I would be good to know how that large revenue stream is being used, in light of what happened last weekend.

It is abundantly clear that the electric grid that services Windsor Square cannot handle the excess demands of a heat wave or winds. The city should respond by upgrading the current system as it so desperately needs it.

I have lived here for 50 years, and outages are getting increasingly worse, because the electric system has not been upgraded to reflect A/C.

We were extremely lucky that we did not lose power. However, we often lose power in times of high wind and rain storms. Thanks so much to the DWP for working hard in such unbearable heat to get things up and running.

I find it negligent that it was out so long. The power also goes out in wind and rain Fix it !!!!!!

I hope you publicize the extent of these outages in hopes of garnering further support and lobby to local government to address the broader problem of our lacking infrastructure.

Of equal importance is that Spectrum internet and cable TV service was down for most of the outage and the At & T cell towers in our area lost power on Saturday afternoon. None of this fares well for problems caused by the big earthquake when it comes.

Something needs to be done to upgrade our system. We have lived in the neighborhood for 24 years and it just gets worse.

The situation is completely unacceptable. The power goes out routinely during rain, wind, or heat. It’s like living in a 3rd world country!

Please, let’s do something about this. 

Finally, please note that if you did not contribute to the initial poll, but would still like to, it is still open at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MY7FMV9

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Elizabeth Fuller

Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - first in the Sycamore Square neighborhood, and since 2012 in West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill. She was long-time board member of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association, currently serves on the board of the West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill Neighborhood Association, spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *