Tehachapi residents who depend on Southern California Edison may have reason to hope their power will be restored shortly as high winds in the greater Tehachapi area are calming.
“The weather is improving so we are now able to inspect and patrol some circuits,” said Robert Villegas, spokesman for Southern California Edison.
But, he added, “There are no estimated restoration times, but once the weather stops impacting areas and inspections are done, we will re-energize some circuits.”
Some circuits are easy to inspect, but others are in mountainous areas that require technicians to check lines and equipment from helicopters. Circuits that are ready to be re-energized can be turned on, versus waiting until all circuits are ready, added Villegas.
The Tehachapi Unified School District is trying to prepare and make sure schools are safe.
“First and foremost is the health and safety of students,” said TUSD Superintendent Stacey Larson-Everson.
Both Cummings Valley Elementary School and Golden Hills Elementary School were closed all day Thursday. And all schools within the district were closed Oct. 30 due to no electricity from the Public Safety Power Shutoffs, according to the district's website.
Larson-Everson said all schools were closed Oct. 30 based on the dangerously high wind conditions, mechanical tools not working and other factors. Many parents rely on the school as a place not only for students to learn, but as a place of care when they are away at work and the district understands this need.
“People are trying to make a decision for their day and we are trying to do the best we can to accommodate their needs. We are trying to inform them as quickly as possible, but it’s not an easy puzzle to put together,” said Larson-Everson.
Recorded messages in English and Spanish are sent out to parents' phones, by text message and email in the early hours of the morning by Larson-Everson if factors predict that power will be out. School officials at all locations patrol the campuses in the early morning hours to report what is working and what is not so a final determination can be made, said Larson-Everson.
Water bottles, hand sanitizer and other supplies are on hand if power is not on or goes out during the school day. If the power goes off after school starts, additional teachers or administrators come to the school to monitor the school for fire and other safety issues, the superintendent said.
The district can apply for funding on lost school days as the California Department of Education provides options to still count attendance when an emergency has occurred, added Larson-Everson.