Power Poles Allegedly Overloaded with Cables
An angry and frustrated resident demands the PUC and SCE be honest with residents as South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Paybe looks on. -Photos by Terry Miller
By Terry Miller
The December 1 windstorm may have seemed mild by comparison to some of the anger vented by San Gabriel Valley residents in Temple City last Thursday night.
250 people attended the Public Utilities Commision hearing at Temple City High School hall Thursday night as part of the agency’s investigation into SC Edison’s response to the Nov.30 and Dec.1 major windstorms which wreaked havock to the San Gabriel Valley.
At one point, a resident so distraught over the lack of information and the time involved, refused to accept thje PUC’s decision to take a break and demanded that they get on with the business at hand. The unnamed resident was asked by Marcis Nixon , a PUC employee, to settle down and eventually the Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies were called to control the situation. The resident said ” am I under arrest for being upset about this?” To which the officer said ” no sir.” The tense moment lasted but a few minutes but illustrated the extreme frustration many residents have with Edison regarding not only the lack on information but also the time involved in getting power back.
Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena, said that “a lack of reliable information was the single biggest” complaint he heard from residents facing windstorm outages.
Without outages over a week in some areas it was easy to see why residents wanted answers to why their claims have fallen on deaf ears.
” I’ve been very reliable about paying my bill every month, very reliable; and when I need you the most, after 50 years, you’re not there,” said Temple City resident Giovanna Billotti. Billotti’s son was forced to go to hospital after he received no help or information from Edison.
PUC President Michael R. Peevey said the commission is “deadly serious about this service breakdown” and wanted to hear from impacted customers.
The PUC reported earlier this month that as many as one-third of the Edison poles that went down during the windstorm were heavily overloaded with cables and equipment – this could bring potential fines of up to $50,000 per day for Edison.
Temple City Mayor Tom Chavez , who was listening intently to the meeting was advised by Malibu resident Hans Laetz to “watch out” as Edison still hasn’t settled claims from 2 years ago .
Many residents’ frustration was simply with the fact that Edison did not keep them informed about the progress of the repairs.
PUC Commissioners and a Judge listen to neighbors’ concerns. -Photo by Terry Miller