Lakewood residents suffer through power outage

LAKEWOOD, Calif. /*Southern California Edison*/ (SCE) crews were working since 2 p.m. Wednesday to restore power in a Lakewood neighborhood.

For the past two days, in the middle of a record heat wave, residents in a Lakewood neighborhood have literally been powerless in their battle against the soaring temperatures. Their electric meters dead, the power out.

"With the record heat and everything, it's understandable, but it doesn't make it easier," said Lakewood resident Allen Hines.

The power went down Monday afternoon. Hines says Southern California Edison was able to supply a minimal amount of electricity to his block, just enough to keep the refrigerators going, but even that went down Wednesday.

Despite temperatures in the 90s, the lack of air-conditioning forced many residents outside.

"The house just stays hotter in the house than it does outdoors and pretty much everybody on the street stays outside in their garages and stuff like that," said local resident Troy Powers.

SCE workers were replacing two blown transformers in the neighborhood Wednesday afternoon. At the peak of the outages, SoCal Edison had nearly 30,000 homes in the dark. That's a tiny percentage of the 14 million customers it serves, but little consolation for those affected.

Allison Castellanos's 9-month-old and 2-year-old daughters were forced to take refuge in their air-conditioned pickup truck.

"They're surviving a lot better than I am," said Castellanos. "I think it's my heart breaking when I hear them cry. You can see she's all sweaty. They're not crying at the moment so, so far so good."

The SCE crew foreman said that since Saturday they've been working 24-hour shifts with just eight hours off in between.

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