Dozens Remain Without Power In East Valley Following Extreme Weather, Downed Power Lines

Kamari Esquerra

As of Monday morning, about 200 people remain without power after gusty winds downed power lines across the region nearly a week ago, cutting off power for about 25-hundred customers. 

“We are doing the best we can, we did call in additional crews that are helping us out,” said Robert Schettler, Public Information Officer, Imperial Irrigation District.

The company reported that 30 power lines were up and running again out of the 76 that were knocked down. 

“So we’re getting there but once those are all back up, then there will be complete restoration,” said Schettler. 

IID also brought in a 2-Megawatt mobile generator from Phoenix on Friday to temporarily service homes in the area until power is completely restored.  

“We were able to get 1,000 of them back on over the weekend by implementing a generator,” said Schettler. “The catch with that is that we’re asking customers who are in that outage area who now have been restored to conserve energy because a generator can only do so much… If there’s too much of a demand then there could be another outage and of course we don’t want that.”

But several people west of the Salton City area are still left in the dark with no guarantee of when power will be restored – an issue not unfamiliar to them following multiple outages in recent years due to extreme weather. 

“Lately over the years, we’re experiencing new events like microbursts… a small little tornado that’s kind of isolated where the winds are extremely high for a short period of time and they just take those power poles and snap them in half in some cases,” said Schettler. “When you get one pole that comes down, it often will cascade and bring the rest with it.”

IID secured $1.2 million dollars for energy infrastructure improvements in Mecca and North Shore in December of 2022 that would fund increasing energy resiliency, including implementing new power lines and wires. The company also applied for Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities – or BRIC – funds under FEMA. 

“That would be a 43.5 million dollar project to upgrade the line in this special wind region,” said Schettler. 

The project requires a 25% local match to which the IID Board agreed to a 30% match at the end of 20-21, coming out to a total of $13.5 million. 

“If we could get the rest through federal funds, well then we’re on our way,” said Schettler. 

IID says they hope they can restore power to the remaining homes by the end of this week. The company says, however, the continued success of this interim measure is contingent upon customers in the outage area conserving energy.

Suscribe Form Desktop


Submit your suggestions and questions

Nbc Palm Spring Logo

Download our App

Apple Store Logo

Play Store Logo