Power back for 694,000 customers of San Diego Gas & Electric, more on the way
Some 694,000 of the 1.4 million customers throughout Southern California who lost power have now had power restored, San Diego Gas & Electric Co. reported at about 2:45 a.m, 11 hours after the outage occurred.
Power is being restored throughout San Diego and its suburbs. La Jolla, Mission Valley, and Bay Park are among the most recent neighborhoods to have the lights reappear.
The first neighborhoods were in southern Orange County, then the suburbs of San Diego. Power in the Imperial Valley, supplied by the Imperial Irrigation District, is said to be 99% restored.
The San Diego Police Department reports no major disturbances during the blackout.
"For the most part, people have been good," said a spokesman. "We've had a little bit of vandalism, but nothing major, nothing I would call civil disturbance."
Law enforcement officials in San Diego have urged people to remain calm.
Sheriff Bill Gore, at a news conference Thursday night, heard over KOGO AM600 radio, said cooperation from the public is crucial: "We'll look back at this as just a 24-hour unpleasant period."
Public schools throughout the county are set to be closed, but other essential services, including trash hauling, are scheduled to continue Friday.
Throughout the night, the San Diego police and fire departments have increased staffing and are responding to 911 calls.
At Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, a Friday morning colors ceremony honoring the fallen of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has been called off.
"Our 'first responders' who we were going to honor at the ceremony will still be working and responding to this power outage," said a base spokesman.
Officials say the outage is due to operator error in Arizona. An investigation is planned.
Photo: A San Diego restaurant server is led to an ambulance after she was attacked by a patron who apparently tried to skip the bill. The patron was arrested. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times
--Tony Perry in Encinitas