Big Bear Valley – Baldwin Lake, CA – Yesterday afternoon [January 18] just before 12:30pm, strong winds up to and exceeding 60 miles per hour resulted in (we’re told, now) five Bear Valley Electric power poles being sheared in the Baldwin Lake area, resulting in a near Valley-wide power outage. By 3:30pm, power was briefly restored to all Valley residents, with the exception of the Baldwin Lake area. A short time later, a second storm incident prompted another Valley-wide outage, though Bear Valley Electric crews were able to restore power once again, to all but Baldwin Lake customers, just before 6pm. At this time [9am January 19], Baldwin Lake residents are still without power. According to Bear Valley Electric’s Operations Manager Ken Markling this morning, “The problem is more difficult to repair than we thought, as there are heavy wires in the road and lots of ice out there. It’s wicked ice. It will be noon at the very earliest before we get power back out there in Baldwin Lake—so, no sooner than noon, but probably later. We’ve got three of the five poles back up. The guys worked all night, and all hands are on that project. Certainly our goal is to get this done before the next round of weather, so our guys can get some rest and ready for the next storm.” As for the second outage yesterday afternoon, Markling tells KBHR, “Something banging together is all we can figure for the second outage, as nothing was broken.” But again, power has been restored to all Valley residents as of yesterday evening, and all Bear Valley Electric crews are still on scene, hoping to restore power to the Baldwin Lake area this afternoon.
Update as of noon: Though crews are still at work on the Baldwin Lake power restoration, it is estimated that power will not be available until later this afternoon. A power failure in the Moonridge area, just before 10am, is also being addressed.
Update as of 2pm: Per Ken Markling of BVES, the hope is to have Baldwin Lake power restored early this evening. “We’re very optimistic it will be before dark,” he tells KBHR. Moonridge residents once again have power; he notes that it was “a simple fix” once the blown fuse was located.
Update: Power restored in the 6pm hour on January 19! Bear Valley Electric crews worked just about 24 hours straight, through the night and severe storm conditions, to restore electricity to Baldwin Lake customers.