It was standing room only when the community of Fontana gathered on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 to consider issues related to Southern California Edison (SCE) power shutoffs. The community public safety meeting was held in partnership with the Fontana Chamber of Commerce and SCE to not only discuss the shutoff process but also to provide an opportunity for members of the community to raise questions, express concerns and begin to advocate against the shutoffs becoming the new normal for the City of Fontana. One of the questions raised involved concerns over the kind of public safety measures being taken during blackouts. Residents are concerned that pitch-black neighborhoods are vulnerable without lights, alarms and cameras and questioned whether there are more police patrolling the affected areas. In response city officials advised the police will patrol the affected areas on a case by case basis. Some questioned whether fire sprinklers will work should a fire erupt during a time when the power is shutoff. Officials assured those in attendance that they would. Another concern involved the operation of traffic signals when the electricity is turned off. The city ensured traffic signals will continue to operate during a Southern California Edison power outage—at least until the battery back-up resources are exhausted (approximately six to eight hours depending on the charged state of the battery). Subsequently, the intersection should be treated as an “all-way” stop condition. This is just a sampling of the important questions presented and addressed during the session. The City of Fontana and SCE are working on answers to all remaining questions asked during the meeting and should be available online at the Fontana Emergency Management website during the week of November 25. For residents who missed the meeting a YouTube Video of the entire meeting is available online.
Header Photo: SCE power shutoff meeting at Chamber of Commerce in Fontana