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Most of San Diego will be blacked out through Friday

September 8, 2011 |  8:57 pm

Click here for more photos of the blackout.Most power-stricken customers in San Diego County will be without electricity until the end of Friday, the president of utility serving the area said Thursday night.

San Diego Gas and Electricity President Michael Niggli said that power had been restored to three substations that service areas in southern Orange County. He also predicted that a "few more" areas would have electricity restored by midnight.

"After that," he told reporters at a news conference, "it's going to be a slow march throughout tomorrow" to restore power.

 PHOTOS: Blackout leaves millions without power

He said about 3 million people in the county were affected by the massive power outage.

"Essentially all lines were severed into San Diego County," Niggli said of the outage that began during peak afternoon electricity demand.

The priority is to restore electricity first to hospitals and then work on stabilizing the grid and restoring power to feeder lines and local substations that provide electricity to neighborhoods, Niggli said.

Officials said all public schools and San Diego County would be closed Friday.

Niggli urged people to turn off their air conditioners to prevent a surge when power is finally restored. "It's really critical that people turn off their air conditioners," he said.


FULL COVERAGE: Southern California blackout

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Photo: Diannyra Bolata, 25, and her son Diego, 2, rest on the floor in the terminal at San Diego's  Lindbergh Field after all outbound flights were canceled. Credit: Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times