PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
333 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

7/18/2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 071815
Subject:
Over 90% of Power Restored to Downtown Long Beach Overnight
Contact:
Kerry Gerot
562-618-8612
Kerry.Gerot@longbeach.gov
Acting Public Information Officer
City Manager's Office
Rachael A. Tanner
562-570-9325
Rachael.Tanner@longbeach.gov
Program Specialist
City Manager's Office

As of 6:30 AM on Saturday, July 18, electricity has been restored to approximately over 90 percent of customers in downtown Long Beach.

The outage began around 3:00 PM on Wednesday, and appears to be tied to the failure of Southern California Edison’s underground utility system. Over the course of 54 hours, residents in Long Beach’s downtown neighborhoods were without electricity, while SCE crews worked around the clock to resolve the outstanding issues.

The Long Beach Fire Department received over 120 calls for service in the first 8 hours of the incident, and rescued 44 individuals from disabled elevators. Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) Teams and the Search and Rescue Teams of the Long Beach Fire Department, in cooperation with the American Red Cross, also played an essential role in checking on the well-being of our community’s most vulnerable members. Nearly 40 trained CERT team members and dozen Search and Rescue volunteers contributed to community safety during the power outage.

At the height of the power outage, there were 4,800 SCE customers who patiently and eagerly awaited the return of their electricity. In partnership with the City, SCE provided water, ice and flashlights at three downtown locations. During the day, the community was invited to 240 Cedar Avenue and 714 Pacific Avenue where they were given essentials for coping with the power outages. Long Beach opened Cesar Chavez Park as a 24-hour shelter, and distributed 2,000 cases of bottled water, 1,200 meals, 500 flashlights and ice bags to those affected by the power outage. Programming and services were made available at the Cesar Chavez Community Center, which saw 1,365 visitors over the course of the day and into the evening. In total, 15 individuals chose to spend the night at the Cesar Chavez Park shelter. Water, snacks, and showers will be provided at Chavez Park throughout the day. At 11:30 am today a hot dog lunch will be served at the park.

This morning, SCE estimates that 200 customers remain without electricity. Areas where SCE’s underground equipment sustained damage remain without power. SCE will continue to focus their efforts on restoring power to the downtown area for as long as needed.

For locations where power was restored, but still no power exists, residents are advised to reset their circuit breakers. If the power remains off, SCE is urging those individuals to call 1-800-655-4555. SCE representatives can help walk customers through the circuit breaker procedure or identify if another issue exists.

During the power outage, the level of public safety calls for service did not exceed normal calls volume. The Long Beach Police Department saturated the affected area with extra patrols and personnel to ensure swift response times and deter crime, and, as a result, experienced a low volume of reports of crime and calls for service.

The camaraderie and respect that neighbors bestowed upon each other, and patience was incredibly humbling. Long Beach residents, businesses, and non-profit organizations demonstrated an outpouring of support during the incident, showing the true strength of the Long Beach community.

To assist residents with the cleanup effort, the City has a special telephone number that will be active until 3pm today. Residents can learn more about available food waste collection options and general refuse information by calling 562.570.2886. To get help resetting a circuit breaker or reporting an outage, call SCE at 1-800-655-4555. 

As always, Long Beach publishes information about the City via Twitter and Facebook. Please follow us @LongBeachCity on Twitter; Long Beach City on Facebook; and use the #lbPWRout to find information related to this power outage incident. In addition, Twitter followers can use the hashtag #lbHELPout to share stories of helping neighbors through this incident.

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