Restoring power after a Public Safety Power Shutoff
It’s important to remember that improved weather conditions are not the only factor that determines whether a line is safe to re-energize. Restoring power to customers can be a long process. First, we need to record reduced wind speeds for a sustained period, then allow 4–8 hours of daylight for SDG&E field crews to patrol the line. When patrolling, crews are looking for safety hazards like downed lines, debris or tree branches caught on the line, broken hardware or issues related to communication wires. If there is any damage to the power lines or poles, repairs must be made first before power can be restored.
In the case of fire or other extreme weather, this process can take days. You may see our trucks in your neighborhood as you continue to experience an outage. The information they gather helps us plan our work.
During a power shutoff, addressing hazardous situations like downed lines is priority. Then, we work on restoring as many customers as we can, as soon as we can. We also prioritize repairs to restore service for critical needs such as hospitals, water pumping stations, and police and fire departments.
As we work to restore power to everyone, you may see lights on in your vicinity, while your location remains in the dark. Different parts of a neighborhood may be on different circuits, and not all circuits are restored at the same time.