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Santa Barbara residents outraged over power outage plan

While Southern California Edison was projecting a power outage that would affect more than 24,000 customers in south Santa Barbara County, the Southern California Edison company has shifted gears.

Due to current conditions, some residents in the Santa Barbara County have been receiving text messages saying, “Due to current conditions, the Santa Barbara area has been removed from Public Safety Power Shutoff consideration.”

However, So Cal Edison Representative David Song, says this does not mean ALL of the Santa Barbara area has been removed from public safety power shutoff consideration. Again, Song says only SOME residents are receiving these text messages.

So Cal Edison cannot confirm which areas are receiving these messages and they cannot confirm which areas in Santa Barbara are still under consideration for power outages.

But people are frustrated over the entire situation.

Southern California Edison sent a text to South County residents alerting them that the Santa Barbara area has been removed from public safety power shutoff.

Power or no power, emotions ran high.

“I’m really outraged in that it’s a terrible way to run a utility company,” said Kate Smith, a Santa Barbara resident.

Smith expressed concern for her safety by the potential power outage.

“People can fall in the darkness. It’s unbelievable that this is a major utility company trying to manage. I guess it’s because their power lines are decrepit,” Smith said.

Smith got a robo call letting her know that the power shutoff had been lifted.

As much as she disagreed with how the utility company has been managing the situation, she did make preparations just in case.

“I had an earthquake kit, a flashlight, water and food. But that’s the only thing you can do to prepare,” Smith said.

Malea De La Cruz of Santa Barbara wasn’t concerned about a possible power outage.

“I’m not quite concerned. I’ve heard about it all week. It’s not something I prepared for. I do have some candles,” De La Cruz said.

While De La Cruz hopes everyone stays safe, Smith wants the utility company to change how it handles situations in the event of high winds or other inclement weather.

Managers at the Office of Emergency Services said they have been working with the utility company to ensure everyone’s safety this weekend.

KEYT 2019

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