Power Outage & Fire at DWP Valley Station J
Posted by Councilmember Englander on July 14, 2017 at 11:10 AM
The first priority of LADWP is to provide reliable service delivery to residents. This weekend's outage showed the importance of maintaining critical infrastructure as thousands of ratepayers were left without power during a record heat wave. This was more than an inconvenience, it was an emergency situation that posed a danger to communities throughout the San Fernando Valley. I want to commend the Los Angeles Fire Department and LADWP responders for their professionalism and urgency in stopping the fire and restoring power.
As Chair of the Public Safety Committee and Councilmember representing the area most affected by the outage, there is still work to do including taking a hard look at the root causes of the fire and resulting outage and taking steps to ensure that we can prevent such a situation from developing in the future.
While the explosion was likely caused by excessive energy demand, the incident highlights the need to upgrade aging systems to handle current and future energy needs. The high-voltage transformer in question was over 40 years old and built for a time when the North Valley was much different than it is today. The utility is currently undergoing a Power System Reliability Program to replace these aging facilities.
As a community, it's important that we come together to conserve energy during times of peak demand. This includes turning off lights when not in use and timing the use of certain non-essential appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines for off-peak hours.
The summer months will continue to provide challenges as temperatures continue to rise. We must stay proactive in strengthening our infrastructure and adapting our systems to ensure the long term resilience of our City.