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Solar storm: No power outages so far in Southern California

March 8, 2012 |  9:18 am

Solar flare

The blast from a powerful solar flare hit earth around 3 a.m. Thursday morning but has yet to cause any unusual power outages or electrical issues in Los Angeles County, officials said.

A spokeswoman for Southern California Edison said there have not been any unusual service disruptions Thursday morning. The power company’s outage map lists only about a dozen outages affecting 324 customers. 

“We have not seen anything unusual due to solar flares,” spokeswoman Vanessa McGrady said. “We’ve been on the lookout, but we haven’t seen anything on our grids.”

The solar flare that erupted in space Tuesday evening was the second-largest of the current 11-year solar cycle, according to Alex Young, a solar physicist at NASA Goddard.

Thursday morning, spaceweather.com called the impact “weaker than expected, sparking only a mild geomagnetic storm.”

The material from the coronal mass ejection could have affected electrical currents that impact GPS communication and other services.

Experts were concerned that airline flights could be affected if the blast was significant, but LAX spokesman Marshall Lowe said there have not been any disruptions Thursday.


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-- Matt Stevens


Photo: A powerful set of solar flares could have disrupted electricity distribution. Credit: NASA /Associated Press