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Power is restored in San Diego, officials announce

September 09, 2011|By Tony Perry | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
  • Pedestrians navigate in the dark Thursday night in the Gas Lamp District of San Diego.
Pedestrians navigate in the dark Thursday night in the Gas Lamp District… (Lawrence K. Ho, Los Angeles…)

All 1.4 million customers of San Diego Gas & Electric have had power restored, the company announced at 4:30 a.m Friday, some 13 hours after the massive outage struck.

Dave Geier, a company vice president, said 100 substations are back on line. The 100% return occured about an hour before the news conference announcement, he said.

Geier said that despite the return of power, customers should try to use electricity sparingly, lest they overload the system.

"The system is still fragile," he said.

Geier told reporters that it appears that a worker for the Arizona power agency caused the outage but it is unclear what he did. "We're not sure," he said.

The worker's action apparently caused the San Onofre nuclear power plant to go offline, officials said, along with a "cascading" impact on other sources.

"It tripped out immediately," Geier said.

Geier said the outage was unprecedented. "We've never have this happen before, and we see no reason it will happen again," he said.

A multi-agency investigation is being launched to determine the cause of the outage, which struck the entire SDG&E service area in San Diego County, southern Orange County and parts of Riverside County.

Also hit were Baja California and the Imperial Valley. The latter is served by the Imperial Irrigation District which reports that 100% of customers are receiving power.

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