Thanksgiving Day Blackouts

Thanksgiving Day Blackouts

In an effort to prevent wildfires, Southern California Edison announced on November 25 that there was a possibility they would cut over 70,000 customer’s power on Thanksgiving Day. When Thanksgiving came along, thousands of people faced power outages as they were trying to cook Thanksgiving Dinner. The areas that were most impacted included Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, and the mountainous sections of Kern, according to Edison’s website.
Dry conditions and winds last week were the main cause behind the power outages. Humidity levels dropped to 10-25%, with some areas dropping even lower. Much of California is already very dry; 75% of the state is currently experiencing some form of drought. With winds up to 60 mph added to the equation, the US Storm Prediction Center claimed that as many as 4.8 million people faced a critical fire risk.
Record-setting wildfires have already raged across the state this year; burning 4.2 million acres, causing an estimated $10 billion in damage, and killing 31 people. Californians and people all across the west coast have had their power shut off multiple times with the goal of preventing downed electrical wires from starting more fires. In prior years, blackouts from dry conditions and high winds interrupted schools and workplaces. The constant threat of fires has made California’s “Fire Season” essentially year round.
Thousands of Californians had their Thanksgiving dinner in the dark, yet another usual activity taken away from them in this unusual year. However, previous experience has taught many how essential it is to keep fires from starting.
Although blackout warnings went away around Friday evening, we will most likely see them again before the year is over.