Huge call volume overloads cellphone lines, but 911 calls are working
Heavy call volume has overloaded cellular phone service in Southern California areas affected by the blackouts, but 911 lines were working, state emergency operations officials said.
"It is essential that those impacted by today's power outage limit cellphone and landline use to emergency calls only," said Mike Dayton, acting secretary of the California Emergency Management Agency.
The agency said it has activated its operations center in Los Alamitos to provide assistance to officials in San Diego, Orange, Riverside and Imperial counties as they deal with the blackouts.
Earlier Thursday, fire and police officials across the blackout areas were dealing with rescues and traffic jams caused by the outage.
— Robert J. Lopez
Photo: Guests sit in the lobby of the Marriott hotel after a massive blackout hit Southern California. Credit: Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images