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Edison Reminds Customers Outages Might Occur as Winds, Freeze Conditions Approach

Southern California Edison reported outages Tuesday night in Hemet, Desert Hot Springs and Indian Wells, and the utility issued a reminder to customers that more outages may occur with high winds and potential hard-freeze conditions in local forecasts.

Edison also reminded customers that when power lines come down, they should never approach or touch downed power lines.

"If you see a downed line or dangling wire - even if it appears not to be live - don't touch or approach it and call 911 immediately," Edison officials said in a statement issued Dec. 3.

"The National Weather Service is forecasting strong winds and cold temperatures for the Inland Empire as well as the mountains and high desert, but windy and unseasonably cold conditions are also forecast for areas of Los Angeles and Orange counties," Edison officials said.

As of 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, there were about 100 customers without power in Hemet, about 20 customers without power in Desert Hot Springs, and about a dozen customers without power in Indian Wells, according to Edison.

Edison personnel were monitoring weather conditions and had crews prepared to respond if more outages occurred.

Here's more from the utility:

Customer safety is a top priority for SCE. Remember to check emergency supplies to be sure you have a battery-operated radio, a flashlight and fresh batteries. SCE also offers these tips:

- Watch for traffic signals that may be out. Approach those intersections as four-way stops.

- If you're in a vehicle with a fallen power line on it, stay in the vehicle and remain calm until help arrives. It is OK to use your cell phone to call 911. If you must leave the vehicle, remember to exit away from downed power lines and exit by jumping from the vehicle.  You must not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Then proceed away from the vehicle by shuffling your feet until you are several yards away.

- Water and electricity don’t mix.  Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Do not enter any water that a downed power line may be touching.

- Do not use any equipment inside designed for outdoor heating or cooking. Such equipment can emit carbon monoxide and other toxic gases.

- Never use your oven to heat your home.

- If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into the generator, using a heavy-duty extension cord. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates "backfeed," which is dangerous to repair crews.

- Check on your neighbors to make sure everyone is safe.

Southern California Edison is billed as one one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area in Central, Coastal and Southern California.

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