The Colton Police Department posted on Twitter at around 7 a.m., saying that the "majority" of Colton was without power.
The power is out to a majority of the city of Colton. Please only use 9-1-1 for emergencies. We will update when we have more info.— ColtonPD (@Colton_PD) August 31, 2017
According to Colton's Public Utilities Facebook page, lightning struck an Edison Electric substation around 6:30 a.m., resulting in loss of power for approximately 50,000 residents. The outage is impacting residents, businesses and city services.
Around 2:40 p.m., the utility posted an update, saying the power is expected to be "fully restored" by 5 p.m.
Until then, city officials urged any residents who do have power to minimize electricity use and also conserve water during the outage.
Many residents struggled to stay cool in the midst of the heat wave, which brought temperatures into the triple digits for the area.
Southern California Edison said approximately 6,000 of its customers were without power due to the lightning strike. Crews were working to repair the damage and restore power, SCE said.
The Colton Joint Unified School District said the following schools were closed:
- Alice Birney Elementary
- Mckinley Elementary
- Grant Elementary
- Lincoln Elementary
- Grand Terrace Elementary
- Cooley Ranch Elementary
- Reche Canyon Elementary
- Colton Middle School
- Colton High School
- Terrace Hills Middle School
- San Salvador Preschool
- Wilson Elementary
- Washington High School
A district official said all parents received a phone call and social media alert regarding the outage and school closures. Schools were set to be closed all day Thursday and expected to reopen Friday.
At around 8:20 a.m., Colton police said on Twitter that the power was estimated to be restored in eight-10 hours. The department also said a cooling station was set up for residents at the Colton Hutton Center.
The City of Colton is setting up a cooling center at the Hutton Center at 670 N Colton Ave.— ColtonPD (@Colton_PD) August 31, 2017
Many residents took refuge at the center, taking in the air conditioning and guzzling down water.
"The electricity in our house was out and it's really hot in there. So with my daughter, she was getting overheated so we decided to come here to cool off," Lanette Gonzales said.
At around noon, the Colton Public Utility said power was restored to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and parts of the West End.