Nearly 100K lose power in South Bay; flare-ups seen at Torrance refinery

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Nearly 100,000 customers in the South Bay area lost power early Tuesday morning, as a flare-up occurred at a major refinery in Torrance. (KABC)

Nearly 100,000 customers in the South Bay area lost power early Tuesday morning, which caused a flare-up at a major refinery in Torrance.

Edison officials said power has been restored to the area.

Residents in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Torrance, Gardena, Alondra Park, West Athens, Redondo Beach, Hawthorne, Inglewood and Westmont were impacted by the outage.

Southern California Edison's website cited more than a dozen separate incidents, all starting around 5:40 a.m., related to the massive outage. The cause of the outage was not known.

Around the same time, a flare-up happened at the former Exxon Mobile refinery, which was evacuated and shut down, the Torrance Fire Department captain told Eyewitness News, who said the facility lost power around 5:40 a.m. for approximately 20 minutes.

The Torrance Unified School District was closed Tuesday due to the flare-up.

Two ambulances were spotted leaving the refinery with lights and sirens on, and one fire truck was seen going into the facility. Some refinery workers were initially told not to come to the facility but were later let back in.

Officials said one person was transported from the refinery, but there were no details on injuries.

Refineries typically respond to outages by burning off product to relieve pressure and ensure gases are safely combusted.

The city of Torrance sent out a notification, warning area residents to shelter in place, stay indoors, shut all windows and turn off all air-handling systems. The shelter-in-place advisory was lifted around 7:30 a.m.

Mayor Patrick Furey said it was the third time in a month the refinery had lost power and flaring occurred, and although he knows there's a level of concern, the flaring basically safely burns off built of hydrocarbons and other chemicals.

He added that the biggest concern we all should have is at the pump.

"Unfortunately, when they go to a total off, it takes a while before they get a total on," he said. "So we are going to see a blip in the cost of gasoline. I've heard already that the price of gasoline is already going up as we speak."

Refinery officials said the facility will be able to meet its obligations to the fuel market, so this incident should not impact prices. They also said they will accelerate conversations with SoCal Edison to provide more reliable electricity.
Related Topics:
power outagefiresafetyoilManhattan BeachTorranceHermosa BeachRedondo BeachGardenaHawthorneInglewood
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