(FOX 11 / AP) Southern California Edison says nearly a quarter of the utility poles checked in a recent study were overloaded and didn't meet safety requirements.
Orange County media sources say the figure comes from a study that the state Public Utilities Commission ordered after a series of fires and power outages caused by toppled poles.
The study released late last month examined about 5,000 of Edison's 1.4 million poles. It found that 22 percent were overloaded. However, regulatory filings say Edison isn't entirely to blame. Telecommunications and other companies put their own equipment on the power poles and share responsibility for keeping their loads within safe limits.
Edison has a long-term program to evaluate every pole and repair or replace those that are substandard. The cost could top $1 billion.