Nevada electric utility expects outages in Mount Charleston
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Power to customers in a mountain area near Las Vegas will be cut off when conditions are ripe for wildfires, Nevada's largest utility said.
Residents of Mount Charleston can expect to have at least one power outage each year under NV Energy's new Public Safety Outage Management plan, the utility said.
The plan aims to reduce the risk of power lines causing wildfires. Weather conditions, vegetation and the locations of existing fires will be factors in the decision to turn off power, the utility said.
"We expect to have advance notice that could be as much as 48 hours ahead of time for most customers," said Kevin Geraghty, NV Energy's senior vice president of operations. "If we can do it sooner, we certainly will."
Outages could last from four hours to more than 12 hours. Customers in other fire-prone areas such as the Lake Tahoe Basin and the utility's transmission territory in Northern California might also see outages.
Deanna Crossman, the owner of The Retreat hotel on Charleston Peak, said an outage would disrupt her business.
"We can't function without power," Crossman told the Las Vegas Review-Journal . "We can't sit without AC. People don't take it kindly."
Crossman said she is looking into alternative electricity sources like wind and solar.
"Obviously we don't want to put anybody in danger, but losing power unexpectedly -- and possibly regularly -- is a concern," Crossman said.
Geraghty advises customers to update their contact information with the utility so they can receive outage notifications.