Hundreds of power poles in LA in need of immediate repairs
LOS ANGELES - Hundreds of utility poles in the city of Los Angeles are in need of immediate repair and now, Mayor Karen Bass is calling on the department to address the issue immediately.
The issue came to light after the $38 million settlement between LADWP and the family of a father and daughter who died after a power line came down on their Panorama City backyard in 2021.
This week, the Board of Power and Water Commissioners received a report revealing that more than 1,600 poles requiring immediate attention were identified back then. However, it was not until this year that the repairs are actually taking place, with 700 Priority 1 poles identified in the commissioners meeting Tuesday.
Thousands of other poles also need repairs, but not immediately.
DWP released a statement saying they are making progress and will be able to take care of the backlog for Priority 1 poles by May 16. If you want to see the location of the poles, DWP does have an interactive map at www.ladwp.com/PriorityRepairs
Below is the statement issued by LADWP:
LADWP crews are currently working as quickly as possible to clear the backlog of needed repairs to power poles, cross-arms and other overhead electrical equipment identified through its inspection program. LADWP is committed to the completion of its "Priority 1" repairs by May 16, 2023, as they pose a potential risk to public safety if left unaddressed. To provide a tool for customers to track the ongoing work, LADWP has launched an interactive map that can be accessed at www.ladwp.com/PriorityRepairs.
The map is updated daily to show the locations of poles remaining to be repaired. It can be accessed from the www.ladwp.com homepage as well.
As of May 3, 2023, nearly half of the backlog of priority repairs have been completed with crews continuing to work as quickly and safely as possible to complete repairs on the remaining 439 poles.
Customers who live or work adjacent to a pole in need of priority safety-related repairs received letters hand-delivered by LADWP crews advising them of the needed repairs and urging them to use caution near the pole.
Work may involve repairs or replacement of electrical distribution equipment attached to the pole, high voltage wires and attachments or replacement and repair of the pole itself. In most cases, permanent repairs will be made to address the immediate safety concern. At some locations temporary repairs may be made to return the pole and equipment to a safe condition, while permanent repairs are scheduled at a later date.
During this time, LADWP is reminding its customers to never touch a downed or dangling wire, or anyone or anything in contact with it. Always assume a downed wire is energized and report downed wires immediately by calling 911! Public contact with a downed wire as a result of faulty, damaged or aged equipment in the City of Los Angeles remains extremely rare, however, individuals living or working near pole repairs are advised to take caution.
LADWP inspects each of its over 300,000 poles across the City of Los Angeles every year, in accordance with regulatory requirements. Those inspections identify poles in need of priority safety-related repairs as well as other needed repairs and maintenance. LADWP is working to clear the backlog and is committed to making priority safety-related repairs to poles within 24-hours, consistent with LADWP and state standards.