Residents battle heat wave ahead of planned power outages


SAN DIEGO — Dozens of planned outages are expected this week in San Diego during one of the hottest weeks of the year, which means many will have to beat the heat without fans and air conditioning.

In La Mesa, resident Suzaane Vattuone said it’s really been hot the last three days.

“This heat is unexpected, even for here,” she said.

Residents like Vattuone did receive a heads up that their power would be cut this week.

“I wasn’t overjoyed, I’ll put it that way,” she said.

Dozens of others in La Mesa commented on the planned power outages too, venting to a community Facebook page.

“Just got an email that SDGE is planning on turning off our electricity at night from 10PM to 7:30AM for maintenance next week – IN AUGUST!?” one person wrote.

Kevin Geraghty, VP of Electric Operations for SDG&E, said if they don’t do the work now, they may not have the resources later. SDG&E does tens of thousands of inspections and calls every single year, including 25,000 drone inspections alone.

Geraghty says customers may just feel it more now because the weather is so hot.

“Losing your power at any point is critical,” Geraghty said. “And then when you throw COVID on that, we understand that even to a greater extent, but at the end of the day, the one thing that is not going away is the wildfire risk we face here in San Diego County.”

He added the locations with the highest risk of fire danger, is where SDG&E focuses on most. Geraghty said the outages typically last less than four hours.

“Internally our teams get together ahead of those outages and actually determine whether we should still conduct the work, we look for things like what will the temperature be at the work location, what time of day can we get it done, how many customers is it potentially impacting,” Geraghty said.

The heat got so bad that some of Tuesday’s planned power outages were changed to a different day.

“And then yesterday, I received a phone call saying that they were going to be cancelling that date and letting me know when they would reschedule it,” Vattuone said.

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