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Hundreds of cars abandoned in wake of blackout

September 9, 2011 |  8:16 am

Click here for more photos of the blackout. At sunup Friday, gas stations throughout downtown San Diego looked like used-car lots. Hundreds of vehicles were abandoned by drivers during the power failure because they were low on fuel and did not want to get caught in traffic snarls.

A Shell station near the 10th Avenue exit off Interstate 5 had more than a dozen cars parked between the gas pumps. But, as station owner Bob Stivers put it, the pumps “are not communicating this morning.”

PHOTOS: Blackout leaves millions without power

As technicians worked to repair the computer system at the station, Stivers was having to wave off prospective customers. He did not expect his pumps to start working again until roughly 9 a.m.

"We have one-half of one pump out of a total six pumps working this morning. Don’t ask me why," Stivers said in exasperation.


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-- Louis Sahagun in San Diego

Photo: Closed pumps are taped off at a gas station in Encinitas, Calif., after a blackout Thursday. Credit: Dennis Poroy / Associated Press