SCE Edison Choppers Checking Power Lines Above Monrovia

This chopper was seen Tuesday morning north of Foothill above Norumbega. - Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

By Terry Miller

The energy giant, that continues to take leaps of faith to get back in the public’s good graces in the wake of a series of wildfires blamed on faulty SCE equipment last year, is taking to the skies over Los Angeles and Ventura counties to complete aerial inspections of all its overhead lines.

People, especially in Sierra Madre, have recently been complaining of the noise on Facebook. One noted that Nixle had issued an alert to Monrovia residents but not Sierra Madre.

However, SCE insists it will be brief but a necessary inconvenience to help prevent forest fires.

The inspections involve the use of high-tech cameras mounted on helicopters. The devices can detect invisible flaws using a radiometric infrared camera as well as visible issues using a high-definition imager, the utility company said in a news release.

Craig Stenberg, SCE air operations remote sensing manager, said in a statement that the company has “always done overhead inspections” but that this latest effort is “on steroids.”

Among the local communities that have already or will soon notice the helicopters overhead: Arcadia, Monrovia ad Sierra Madre. The regions were selected because it’s in what’s deemed by the Public Utilities Commission to be a “high-fire-risk area.”

Although the company said its goal is to conduct the aerial inspections with “little to no disruption to residents,” residents have taken notice, posting frequently on social media about the sight of the helicopters floating overhead for several minutes at a time.

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