Lightning puts Malibu in the dark


Lightning that struck a Southern California Edison substation transformer in Agoura Hills late Tuesday morning is being blamed for causing a power outage for at least 35,000 customers, including those in Malibu. As many as 100,000 people might have been affected, according to various media reports. A Southern California Edison spokesperson said power was also out in areas of Thousand Oaks, as well as briefly in Topanga Canyon.

Power was restored to Malibu at approximately 2 p.m. SCE officials could not be reached late Tuesday afternoon, so it is not certain if the power outage affected the entire city.

“I know I got phone calls from Broad Beach down to Topanga, so it likely affected the whole city,” said Brandie Sanchez, the senior administrative assistant for the city’s Public Works Department.

The power outage affected traffic lights on Pacific Coast Highway. Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s officials said no traffic collisions occurred due to the outage.

However, a near-collision took place at the intersection of Las Flores Canyon and Pacific Coast Highway when vehicles traveling northwest about 55 mph almost failed to stop at the intersection, as is customary when traffic lights do not work. One car missed another by an inch, as the driver stopped last minute and slid sideways.

-Laura Tate and Jonathan Friedman