Southern California Edison Company officials announced earlier this week that starting Monday, Oct. 6, and throughout the rest of the month, Three Rivers customers may experience what hopefully will be only brief power outages. The potential outages are maintenance related and could occur intermittently throughout the project.
One outage affecting at least the lower North Fork and the business district of Three Rivers near North Fork Bridge is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 8, from 9 to 10 a.m.
The upgrade project includes performing inspections on the entire system, replacing 57 transmission poles and other outdated infrastructure, and performing related maintenance to existing system components.
A number of SCE subcontractors are already in Three Rivers and have been working this past week installing a network of generators that will furnish backup power as needed while the existing system is down. At least one area in the upper Kaweah canyon experienced outages last weekend while contractors were working to install switching equipment at the substation.
“The goal on the Three Rivers project is twofold: to ensure the safety of our crews working on the transmission line and to minimize the inconvenience to our customers,” said Brian Thoburn, SCE regional manager.
When work is completed on the Three Rivers transmission line upgrade, the safety and reliability of the system will be greatly improved, Thoburn continued.
“The upgrades represent a multi-million dollar commitment to our customers in Three Rivers and the surrounding area,” he said.
Concert on the Grass impacted by outage
On Saturday afternoon, Sept. 27, just about the time the annual Concert on the Grass was set to begin, the Dinely Drive area, where the event is staged, experienced an intense downpour and immediately lost power. According to Bill Haxton, an organizer of the event, which is held in his yard, the power outage may be first time that happened in the more than three decades of the popular concert.
Haxton said it didn’t really dampen the enthusiasm of the concert-goers or the performers.
“It was quite a scene herding an audience of 110 indoors to the living room of my house,” Haxton said. “Nobody seemed to mind the weather or the power outage, and we had a memorable afternoon.”