Los Angeles Powerless Department of Water & Power

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is mismanaged and ill prepared for any weather but a day of sunshine. LADWP is a travesty to Los Angeles residents.

LADWP is a monopoly that charges high fees for its services and is unable to provide its products, which is power under stormy weather. One extra drop of rain and LADWP loses it. They left a city neighborhood of 2,800 residents powerless for almost 24 hours.

 California-Cars drive through heavy rain in Los Angeles, February 17, 2017. REUTERS-Ringo Chiu

When I woke up on Saturday morning, February 18th, 2017, I realized that the power went out. I called LADWP to find out what is happening. I waited 30 minutes on the phone line to get someone to assist me. A lady by the name of Shay told me that 57,000 homes lost power and in my neighborhood 2800 homes are powerless. She told me that LADWP estimate to return power to my neighborhood by 6:00am, Sunday, February 19, 2017. That means, refrigerator without power to protect the food stored in it, no computer, TV or telephone landline, no electricity; period. Literally, one’s entire existence has gone dark and powerless.

I told Shay of LADWP that it is unfathomable to have a water and power company so ill prepare for weather that is not a sunny day, typical California weather conditions. Her unwise reply was: “I do not know where you are from, but for us it is strong storm.”

Shay, I am from Los Angeles, not Hurricane prone Florida or snow buried Alaska!

What is going in with LADWP?

It is clear that LADWP is not prepared for anything like the rain that came down on Los Angeles on Friday February 17, 2017. Strong, but hardly catastrophic rain should not have knocked poles and wires in a concrete neighborhood where I reside. With hardly any trees and thus not too much wind to do any damage the light went out regardless. The power went out during the night of Friday, February 17, 2017 and came back on Saturday, February 18th, at 10:20pm. One full night and day with no power to be able to conduct a normal life in one’s home.

So what I read from all this is that LADWP are ill prepared for a real storm. This is preposterous to have no electricity for 24 hours over slightly stronger rain we normally get, when we do get rain, here in Los Angeles.

 California-Water partially flooded the 5 Freeway at Lankershim Boulevard as rain fell on Feb. 17, 2017. (Credit @Luevano1 Twitter)

I read the other day that hat the state of California has lots of electricity, way over it needs, and power plants get to close before their due time. Despite, the state governing body approves to build new power plants and give these power plants an approval to charge their customers high fares, higher than anywhere else, in order to cover the cost. Bottom line, the residents of California pay close to seven billion dollars more than in past years and prices will continue go up, for power they do not need: “Californians are paying billions for power they don't need; We're using less electricity. Some power plants have even shut down. So why do state officials keep approving new ones?” 

The state of Californian is mismanaged and LADWP is one on its mismanagement symptoms.

Since Los Angeles is earthquake prone, can you imagine what will happen with the power supply if LADWP cannot provide power when in sunny Los Angeles there is a blessing of rain. Mind you rain that while it was coming down I was able to smoothly drive all over the city and run errands and also come in and out of buildings.

Just think, do the residents of Los Angeles have a reliable department of water and power, or a behemoth bureaucracy that charges high fees for inadequate and obsolete equipment and services and is unfit for the job it is assigned to do?