Another power outage affecting the town business area and many residential neighborhoods is planned between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 16. Several smaller and limited outages have also occurred since the April outage, which affected much of the local area, including Pine Cove. One outage affected about 15 customers on Marion View Drive Tuesday. Last week, one outage affected about 40 customers on Lower Pine Crest Avenue.

“We are putting in equipment to make the substation more efficient,” said Louis Davis, Southern California Edison region manager. “We are upgrading from 4,000 volts to 12,000 volts.”

Davis was very apologetic to the community and understands the frustration SCE is imposing, but Idyllwild has only one substation. No duplication of equipment is available. Power cannot be shifted to other equipment or back-ups used while this substation is shut down.

“There is no good time to shut off the power,” he explained. “We try to avoid nights because of the temperatures and people needing alarms in the morning.”

The new equipment should eliminate some future problems and possibly avoid those outages, but Davis stressed that Idyllwild is “… a little remote and it takes longer for service vehicles to get here.”

Although Hemet Unified School District tried to negotiate a change in the date and length of the outage, Edison was adamant that it could not modify it to accommodate the Idyllwild School. Consequently, Principal Matt Kraemer arranged three field trips for students.

The kindergarten through second-grade students were to go to the Idyllwild Nature Center until about noon, when the kindergarten students had to return. Kraemer had some other activities planned for the older children until school ended.

The third through fourth grades were to take a hike along the Ernie Maxwell Trail. The middle schools students (sixth through eighth grades) were to travel to the Palm Desert Aquatic Center.

The district did hook up a generator enabling the school to offer pre-school activities and have lights and power in the cafeteria and office.