County Releases Plan for Desert-Area Power Outages

NORTH SHORE – As the weather heats up in the Coachella Valley and communities are concerned about massive storm-related power outages that could cut power off for days, Supervisor V. Manuel Perez is releasing a new county plan of action for how the county, working with the Imperial Irrigation District (IID), will respond to any future power outage emergencies should they happen.

The Riverside County Desert Area Power Outage Concept of Operations plan is a 19-page document detailing how the county, in collaboration with IID and local, state and federal partner agencies, will prepare for, respond to and recover from unplanned power outages that turn into prolonged emergencies, according to a news release.

The plan has been developed by the Riverside County Emergency Management Department and has been reviewed and approved by IID.

The plan incorporates experience learned from two major power outages that affected North Shore in 2021, February 25-February 27 and August 30-September 3, as well as more ideas for improving emergency response that were presented at a meeting with the North Shore community last fall.

“While Riverside County does not have jurisdiction over the electric system, when the power is out for an extended time, it can quickly develop into an emergency situation especially during extreme summer temperatures,” Supervisor Perez said in a prepared statement. “Our county is here to help whenever there is an emergency. Our past experiences have taught us how to quickly mobilize, coordinate with agencies, and deploy resources and services such as food, shelter, transportation. I want to let the community of North Shore to know that the county is organized and prepared to step in and help our communities deal with power outage emergencies.”

Supervisor Perez plans to organize a community meeting next month to go over the plan with community members and partner agencies.

Following the September storm, IID installed new poles in North Shore, and has submitted grant applications for funding to increase the resiliency of its electric infrastructure that delivers power to the Salton Sea area communities. Supervisor Perez has been supporting IID’s efforts to seek grant funding to further upgrade its infrastructure.

Image Sources

  • No Power: Shutterstock