Power outages, heat cause trouble for Los Angeles residents

BEVERLY GROVE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Temperatures in the mid-90s caused trouble Friday for people without power all over Los Angeles.

People in the Fairfax District saw 3,400 homes and businesses darkened on Thursday evening. Power was restored to all but 200 customers around 2 p.m. Friday.

The utility company said it expected to restore power to the area early Saturday morning. The cause of the outage is still under investigation.

Plywood in place of glass covered windows of the Northern Cafe Chinese Dumpling House. The windows shattered when an underground cable failed, causing an explosion. The vault explosion resulted in three people suffering minor injuries.

The explosion happened while crews were working to restore power to The Grove and surrounding businesses. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said two different circuits in the same vault failed, causing more power outages.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center began operating on emergency generators in order to care for patients because of an outage. The hospital said the system can provide power for more than a week and only elevators were affected.

Most of the businesses at The Beverly Connection were forced to close, including a CVS, Corner Bakery and Chase bank. For shoppers trying to run errands, the outage pushed back some of their plans temporarily.

Higher numbers of outages are typical when there are sequential days of high heat. Southern California Edison said a home's power consumption can also affect neighboring houses. The company recommended people try to use as little power as possible to help its equipment cool.

"What that does is over a longer period of the summer when it's hot and our equipment is overworked, it's more prone to failure, that transformer is going to fail, that means a longer outage for you," said David Song of SoCal Edison.

The power company said this week's heat does not yet qualify for a hot spell. The counting technically began on Friday.

California Independent System Operator said the next three days are critical to determine whether there might be a flex alert for people to reduce power consumption next week. A CAISO spokesman said temperatures cooling down just a few degrees at the beaches could make a difference.
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