Power outage puts Malibu on hold

A mid-afternoon power outage put Malibu residents and businesses in the dark for several hours Tuesday, from Corral Canyon to at least the Big Rock area.

Extremely high temperatures in the Conejo Valley and in the Malibu area, causing the higher use of electricity in those areas caused a local electrical substation and one in the Valley to go on the fritz, leaving much of Malibu without power until at least 5:30 p.m.

At 1:30 pm, utility Southern California Edison lost power to a circuit in the central Civic Center area of Malibu that provides power to part of Pepperdine University, residential areas near Pepperdine, the Ralph’s shopping center and Pacific Coast Highway. At 3:40 pm, a major power feed was lost due to a regional transmission and substation problem outside of Malibu, impacting not only Malibu, but other cities in the Conejo Valley as well, according to the city.

Much of the lost power was restored during the afternoon, according to the city; however, as of 5 p.m., power was still out from Corral Canyon to Big Rock, reported residents and business owners. City officials said SCE employees were continuing to work to restore all power in the city, but could not say when the power would be returned.

Edison International’s Southern California Edison utility had warned its customers Monday to conserve power because of the heat wave that had some areas of Los Angeles feeling triple digit weather.

According to Reuters on Tuesday, Edison said its transmission system was performing well but the continuing multi-day heat wave and lightning caused some isolated equipment failures and scattered outages.

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Edison warned that it was possible other equipment might fail because of the high ongoing usage.

The City of Malibu had known of the high electricity use warning, but it is not known whether warnings were disseminated to residents and businesses.

Meanwhile, residents and local business hours could do nothing but wait, or try to figure out ways to continue business as usual.

Employees of The Malibu Times spread out to different areas to keep production of the paper going. One employee went to the Santa Monica Library to finish editing stories, staff writer Olivia Damavandi, who had a laptop, sent stories by phone Internet to the editor and to production art director Nira Lichten, who had gone to her Topanga home to finish laying out the paper.

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