Councilmembers Yaroslavsky and Raman Introduce Motion on LADWP Response to Winter Storms

February 28, 2023|Press Release

For Immediate Release
February 28, 2023

Following a record-breaking storm, over 150,000 ratepayers across Los Angeles suffered multi-day power losses amid dropping temperatures
LOS ANGELES - Earlier today, Los Angeles City Councilmembers Katy Yaroslavsky and Nithya Raman introduced a motion calling on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to report on its response to last weekend’s winter storms, as well as its plan for increasing resilience in our power grid.

“Los Angeles just got a preview of what is to come if we don’t increase our efforts to build climate resilience into our power grid,” said Councilwoman Yaroslavsky. “The outages last weekend underscore what so many in my district know already, which is that our aging infrastructure is no match for these types of storms, which are only growing in intensity as our climate continues to change. As policy makers, we need a clear picture on what challenges LADWP faced in restoring power last weekend, as well as their plans for hardening our grid against future climate-related outages.”

“As one of the largest metropolitan cities in the United States, we cannot continue leaving thousands of Angelenos without electricity or heat during dangerous storm events,” said Councilmember Raman. “Severe weather like the recent storms we experienced are going to become more common and more intense as a result of climate change, and we need to be able to meet those needs. It is critical that during these events, we are able to ensure that Angelenos are not left in the dark and without information – anything less is unacceptable.”

Over the weekend, LADWP restored power for 140,000 residents and businesses, the majority of whom waited over 48 hours for crews to respond. As of Tuesday afternoon, 11,000 LADWP customers remain without power. Many customers reported difficulty in understanding the status of their repairs, when crews would be onsite, and when their power would be restored. This is particularly concerning given the cold weather that accompanied the storm. The motion, which will be referred to the Energy and Environment Committee chaired by Councilwoman Yaroslavsky, calls for LADWP to report on the following: 
  • The status of power outages throughout the City associated with the recent storm events; including the main causes by area, its response to the loss of service experienced by residents and businesses, and recommendations on system hardening against future extreme weather events.
  • LADWP staffing and operations, and whether its current staff level is adequate to respond to multiple power outages and urgent situations throughout the City; and ways it can improve its operations in order to mitigate the loss of service in the future.
  • LADWP data collection, outage notifications, and public communication protocols used during the recent storm events; and ways these protocols can be improved to ensure reliable information is provided to impacted residents and businesses in real time.
The motion also calls for LADWP to coordinate with the Emergency Management Department (EMD) on their report back related to managing and responding to weather-related emergencies and identifying channels for the communication of critical safety information between City departments, Council offices, and residents.