The City of Long Beach has filed $434,502 in claims with Southern California Edison (SCE) regarding the power outage that lasted from July 15-18. The total does not include the cost of estimated losses in the subsequent power outages that hit Long Beach July 30 and later. The outages were caused by cable failures and underground fires in vaults that were part of downtown Long Beach's power network.
An October 9 letter from the city to SCE breaks down the estimated total in damages wrought by the power outage on municipal employees, in “Direct, Labor, Materials & Supplies and Exempt Employee Time.”
“More than 70,000 residents and dozens of businesses were affected over the course of the four day outage,” the letter stated, signed by City Manager Pat West. “The City’s public safety, public works and emergency response personnel, worked tirelessly, throughout this first outage to ensure the health and safety of the residents of Long Beach. [...] We respectfully request that SCE reimburse the City for these costs.”
Mayor Robert Garcia emphasized the power outage's impact on Long Beach.
"The city spent valuable resources responding to the outages," said Garcia. "We expect SCE will work with the city to resolve these costs."
“Southern California Edison (SCE) is aware of the claim submitted by the city of Long Beach for the mid-July incident affecting the downtown Long Beach electrical network,” a response written by SCE stated. “SCE is committed to evaluating and processing the claim on its merits and providing a timely resolution to this and all claims received from the incident.”
According to SCE, $1.5 million has been reimbursed to private citizens and business owners since the July power outages.
The city’s letter asserts that, during the July 15 power outage, losses amounted to $354,916 in Direct Labor, including straight time, overtime and fringe benefits for 407 city employees who worked 4,980 hours. A total of $25,692 was incurred in Materials and Supplies, which represents the amount spent on direct supply costs during the emergency, as well as $53,894 in Exempt Employee time. The Exempt Employee total represents 671 worked hours not included in the Direct Labor category, as completed by city management personnel, according to the letter.
This story was updated on 10/21/15 at 9:59AM with a statement from Mayor Robert Garcia.