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Residents Without Power for Close to 18 Hours

The majority of affected residents get power back within an hour. Others, however, have a different experience.

Editor's Note: The last online update from Southern California Edison indicated that power would be fully restored by 8 p.m. tonight after earlier online updates indicated earlier times today. SCE beat the 8 p.m. estimate, restoring electricity to the last 146 affected customers around 6 p.m. Here's a look at what some residents experienced during the outage, which lasted around 18 hours for some, seven for others and less than one hour for many more. 

Some residents in Manhattan Beach's Tree Section were without power for some 18 hours Monday after an outage that began shortly before midnight Sunday.

For James Gill and his family that meant using battery-operated candles to begin morning prep for work and school, and using the release switch to open an electric-powered garage door.

Indeed, as dusk spread its glow, curious residents walked to Poinsettia Avenue and 35th Street Monday to watch Southern California Edison crews at work, wondering when their power would be back on.

For Jill Cooper, who arrived at the intersection with her two-month-old twins in a stroller, the power outage meant throwing away milk for the babies. And while she'd been relieved to have power restored around 7 a.m., her power going out again around 4 p.m. brought her out to determine if she'd be spending any time in the dark Monday night.

Time in the dark left its mark for those affected residents; some nonplussed and patient, some praising the SCE crews for their non-stop work, others trying to figure out if they'd need to go out for dinner or go to the movies to escape the darkness at home until the projected 8 p.m. power restoration time last provided by SCE.

Gill, who was frustrated by not being able to get information on the outage and when power would be restored despite dialing the phone number given to him by two City Council members four times, in the early afternoon had wandered to where SCE crews were at work to get firsthand info. He was told that once tree trimming was completed and one last thing done, power would be back on.

He thought the info translated into an hour or two at most. Three hours later and he was no closer to knowing when his home would have electricity.

Calling the experience "a little test to see what it's like" to not have power for more than a few hours, Gill said the experience "awakened" him to every little thing one counts on power for in one's daily routines.

Cheryl Burke, who had an SCE worker knocking on her door at 6:30 a.m. to get into her backyard to deal with a downed power line, said the crews were "working like crazy" Monday to fix the power problem.

"They can't really do much about it," she said of the workers and the power outage. She said workers knocked on doors in the 3400 block of Poinsettia saying trees needed to be trimmed.

As she saw work progress, she was "optimistic" and bought groceries mid-day. Upon her return home, she found herself without power. Monday around 4:45 p.m., she wondered if she'd better go to a movie. "It's not going to be much fun to be in the dark," she said.

John Hoven was among the onlookers who felt an appreciation for the skilled work of the crews. He said he was among the residents whose homes had power restored in the morning to get through their day, and then had it turned off around 4 p.m. when SCE crews needed to make their final fixes.

"These guys have been working their butts off," he said. "They've been working non-stop." 

Cooper, who'd had to throw out "hundreds of ounces of milk" for her babies, found the day "kind of stressful." When power first went out, she and her husband were in the middle of a feeding, but fortunately the milk had been warmed enough.

She and her husband took one baby to bed with them when they noticed he seemed to be cold. The babies sleep in sleepers sans blankets at this age and without power, the heater in the house didn't work.

Monday morning, she and her husband threw out milk, yogurt and cheese, her husband making a run to re-supply her with milk and yogurt for the day while he was at work.

About an hour after a man in a truck with the SCE brand on it told onlookers at the intersection power would be on in 10-15 minutes, the crew successfully restored power to all.

Dennis Kane December 04, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Dry ice does an amazing job of keeping food cold, and even frozen in a case like this. This website gives direction- http://www.dryiceinfo.com/broken.htm It can get a bit costly if you follow it's guidlines exactly. We lost power for 15 hours 6 years ago and were able to keep items cold and frozen with quite a bit less dry ice than recommended. Make sure you use a thermometer to monitor temperature.
Liz Spear December 04, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Thanks for the tip, Dennis. Folks I talked to last night did mention how useful dry ice would be... The bigger question is, Are we ready for when a larger disaster strikes, such as a major earthquake. First responders will be busy with critical needs... so each one of us needs to learn how to take care of our household and help our neighbors.

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