High winds cause significant damage to SMUD grid - 5 PM update
80+ crews working 24/7 to restore power
The Sacramento region was battered by a strong winter storm Sunday, which brought more than 8 hours of 65+ mph tropical storm force winds, causing downed trees, widespread destruction and storm-related outages.
At the height of the storm, damage caused power interruptions to 200,000 customers. Crews have been working 24/7 to assess damage, make repairs and restore power and have made significant progress. As of this late this afternoon, 19,587 customers remain without power.
Damage is widespread across SMUD’s service area.
Storm facts to date:
- 200,000 customers have experienced a power outage since Sunday
- 50+ power poles have come down
- 430+ wires down, mostly from trees into lines
- 80+ job sites that require complex tree work before repairs can be made
Replacing poles is major construction job. Each power pole takes a crew an average of 8 hours to repair, and for the safety of our employees and the public, this work can include closing roads and directing traffic, requiring coordination time with law enforcement and others.
SMUD has more than 80 crews working 24/7 to complete damage assessments and make repairs and restore power to all customers safely and as quickly as possible. Working in challenging conditions on complex tasks, crews will continue efforts around-the-clock to restore power to customers, some of whom may experience extended outages. SMUD is contacting those customers directly so they can make arrangements.
SMUD prioritizes where crews will be sent to restore power:
- Public safety hazards (power lines down, poles down)
- Hospitals, critical flood control pumps and other facilities with large community impact
- Areas with large numbers of customers out of power
- Scattered, smaller outages
Safety is a top priority and SMUD is providing tips for customers to stay safe.
If the power goes out...
- Check to see if the lights are out in neighboring homes — if so, it’s likely a larger outage.
- Report the outage at smud.org/outages, on the SMUD app or by calling 1-888-456-7683.
- If you are the only one without power, visit smud.org/storms for instructions on safely checking/resetting your main breaker.
If stormy weather knocks down a power line…
- Stay away and call SMUD at 1-888-456-SMUD (7683) or 911 immediately.
- Assume the line is “energized” and stay away and warn others to do the same.
- Do not remove fallen tree limbs or other debris from power lines. Tree limbs and other objects can conduct electricity that can shock anyone coming in contact with them.
SMUD urges people to check on family, friends and neighbors who may experience outages.
While homes can get cold without power, SMUD warns customers not to heat homes with propane heaters, grills, hibachis or BBQs. They produce carbon monoxide, a clear, odorless gas that can be fatal to humans and animals.