As of 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 18, Southern California Edison (SCE) reports that crews have restored service to the majority of customers affected by the outage in downtown Long Beach. SCE continues to work on restoring and responding to individual customer outages.
"I am very proud of the teamwork displayed by our community,” said Mayor Robert Garcia, “This has been a trying time for our city, but the hard work and professionalism of all involved made this run as seamlessly as possible. I want to thank our residents for coming together, looking out for one another, and displaying patience and cooperation during this crisis. I also want to thank our city staff, community partners, and Southern California Edison for their tremendous efforts over the past several days.”
Customers who live in an area where power was restored, but still have no power, are advised to reset their circuit breakers. If the power remains off, call SCE Customer Service at 1 (800) 655-4555. Representatives can help walk customers through the circuit breaker procedure or identify if another issue exists. While the cause of the outage is yet to be determined, customers who want to file a claim may do so at www.sce.com/claims.
The outage began around 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 15, and appears to be tied to the failure of SCE’s underground utility system. Over the course of 72 hours, residents in Long Beach’s downtown neighborhoods were without electricity, while SCE crews worked around the clock to resolve the outstanding issues.
At the height of the power outage, there were 4,800 downtown Long Beach customers who patiently and eagerly awaited the return of their electricity. Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and the Long Beach Search and Rescue Team, in cooperation with the American Red Cross, played an essential role in checking on the well-being of our community’s most vulnerable members.
In partnership with the City, SCE provided water, ice and flashlights at three downtown locations. Long Beach opened Cesar Chavez Park as a 24-hour shelter, and distributed 7,800 bottles water, 2,100 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 2,200 visitors between Friday and Saturday. Fifteen individuals chose to spend Friday night at the Cesar Chavez Park shelter.
The shelter will remain open until 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 18, 2015. An evening meal will be served at 5:00 p.m. at the park, which is located at 4th Street and Golden Avenue. The community center, also located in the park, will remain open until 8:00 p.m. Residents still affected by the power outage and who continue to need food and shelter services after the shelter closes should call Los Angeles County’s Resource Center at 2-1-1.
Public Works has placed additional trash bins on street corners throughout the affected area. Residents should leave spoiled food in its packaging, tie bags closed securely, and place them inside the bins. All traffic signals are functioning and all freeway exit and entrance ramps are open.
During the power outage, the level of public safety calls for service did not exceed normal call volume. The Long Beach Police Department saturated the affected area with extra patrols and personnel to ensure swift response times and deter crime. Residents may call the non-emergency number, 562-435-6711, to reach Police Dispatch. Emergencies can reported using 9-1-1.
The City’s Emergency Operations Center has been deactivated and all City services have returned to normal operation.
The camaraderie and respect that neighbors bestowed upon each other was incredibly inspiring. 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.
As always, Long Beach publishes information about the City via Twitter, Facebook, and www.longbeach.gov 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.