Western Malibu Gets Blackout Warning – Question Now: Will It Be Cut?

Written by on October 9, 2019

Santa Anas and potential power blackouts are the talk of Malibu this morning.

A Red Flag Warning morning goes up at 3 o’clock in the morning tomorrow … and the big blow will happen tomorrow afternoon.

But the peak wind gusts predicted by the National Weather Service are floating up-and-down.

The latest communiqué predicts 60 mile per hour wind gusts in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Strongest winds will be Thursday mid morning into Friday morning … according to the Weather Service.

But Southern California Edison says it expects the peak winds to arrive tomorrow night.

SCE says it may turn off the power … but only in western Malibu.

Their map shows the potential blackout area to be from Point Dume west … including the Point Dume Mobile Home Park.

But not Dume Drive and points east,


Statewide … a half million California power meters have already been turned off in northern California.

Nearly a million power customer accounts are on blackout notice.

Western Malibu is on the list … electrical meters from Heathercliff Drive west that may get shut off due to high winds tomorrow night.

That means school could be cancelled on Friday at Malibu High School and Malibu Middle School … but not at the two elementary schools.

They sit east of the blackout area.

SCE has been given permission by the state to shut off power to prevent possible fires.

This … despite the fact that only 1  in 20 brushfires in California is caused by electric power line malfunctions.

The current potential blackout window is from 9 pm Thursday to 9 am Friday.

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What if there is a blackout???

Cell phones, the internet and many landlines will likely go down. 

Houses must have they internet modems and routers plugged into a generator, and the wireless router also plugged in, to avoid losing local internet service. 

Other points of failure include cordless landlines and in-house cellphone boosters, cable TV boxes … all of which need emergency power or they will not work.

Frontier/FioS customers should continue to have service, so long network interface boxes has power – the batteries last up to 12 hours and they have to be fresh.

Charter/Spectrum will probably deploy gas generators up and down the PCH to keep their data/cable TV/phone lines up.

The Verizons, Sprints and ATTs of the world have notice and will try to keep their systems up with portable generators too.

Other precautions … get flashlights and electric lanterns ready. 

With cheap LED lanterns available, there is no reason to use candles or camping lanterns.If you have an electric gate, consider leaving it open.

If you have an electric garage door opener, learn how to open it manually. 

Leave it shut so that dust and stuff stays out.

Gas stations in western Malibu do not have generators and cannot sell gas if the power goes out.

And you should expect traffic lights to eventually run out of battery and fail … and then only blink red when the power comes back on.


This storm seems to be right on the edge as far as blackout orders go. 

Peak winds are estimated to be 45 miles and hour on the beach … 70 in the canyons. 

We often see winds that are stronger than that.

The Edison company will not disclose what the threshold wind speed will be to cause them to flip the switch.

SCE is putting only western Malibu on alert – from Point Dume wast.   

Will the power actually be cut? 

Our best guess … probably not.

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