First storm: A little rain can distrupt power and traffic

November 27, 2013
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly 

Santa Paula Times 

A little rain can go a long way in disrupting slick roadways and causing scattered electrical outages as the light shower that hit Ventura County proved Wednesday and Thursday.

The brief and not too wet storm, the first of the season caused just under a half-an-inch of rain that dripped on Santa Paula, a weather event that started Wednesday late afternoon as drizzle, worked itself into some short bursts of real rain and then reverted to drips and drops.

The scant rain brought the total for the rain year, which started October 1, to 0.076 inches according to

Roadways throughout Ventura County were clogged with minor accidents, most attributed to driving too fast on roads covered with a mixture of rain and oils and other dirt accumulated over months of drought.

Santa Paula Fire Chief Rick Araiza said the storm caused firefighters to respond to “five incidents of wire arcing, but we did nothing other than report the pole number. 

“This was the first rain of the year and there was dirt that mixed with the moisture caused the arcing between the lines. There was no fire,” said Araiza, “just the arcing lines.”

There was a power outage that occurred late Wednesday evening according to a Southern California Edison official.

Nancy Williams, SCE Region Manager, said it was reported, “One customer’s primary meter failed causing a circuit outage,” at 11:48 p.m. that affected 1,061 customers.

The problem occurred at Shell Road west of Mission Rock Road but impacted customers within the area bordered by Wheeler Canyon Road, Shell Road, Telegraph Road, and Sheppard Road. The outage also was experienced in the Foothill Road and Wells Road area.

Williams said service to all customers was restored by 2:31 a.m. Thursday.

Friday brought cold, gusty winds and more power outages in Santa Paula; most of those affected had their power out briefly but a few residents reported they were without power for more than an hour. 

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