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Fire prompts rolling blackouts in L.A.

November 15, 2008 | 10:51 am

L.A. officials launched rolling blackouts across the city for about an hour this morning after deactivating some transmission lines in the Sylmar fire zone out of fear that winds could blow them down and cause more blazes.

Officials said that sections of the Mid-City, Crenshaw and Harbor Gateway areas that lost power this morning should have had it restored.

Several blackouts were reported in the San Fernando Valley, with entire neighborhoods losing power and traffic jammed because traffic signals were off. There were also reports of stalled elevators.

The Department of Water and Power said transmission lines along the Interstate 5 corridor north of Sylmar were taken out of service this morning. These lines are considered a major source of imported power to Los Angeles from power plants outside California.

Officials urged residents to conserve power. "Residents are urged to avoid using all major appliances, including air conditioners, as long as doing so does not compromise their or their family members health or safety," the DWP said in a statement.

-- Shelby Grad and Seema Mehta