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Long Beach vault explosion: City says power restored to all

Another vault explosion and subsequent power outage left an estimated 30,000 people without power on Thursday, July 30, 2015.
Courtesy City of Long Beach Twitter account
Another vault explosion and subsequent power outage left an estimated 30,000 people without power on Thursday, July 30, 2015.

12:50 p.m.: Long Beach vault explosion: City says power restored to all

Power was returned to all remaining Southern California Edison customers Saturday evening, following a lengthy outage caused from a vault explosion, according to a release from the city. Service is being provided either through SCE's network or through the use of temporary generators. That final group of customers was limited to the area surrounding the initial vault fire and outage near 10th Street and Locust Avenue, the release states.

Customers who are on generators were to be transitioned back into the grid from Saturday evening, and through the morning, according to the release. 

Aug 1, 11:11 a.m.: Long Beach vault explosion: 300 vaults inspected, repairs underway

As of Saturday morning, power remained out for about 70 Southern California Edison customers in downtown Long Beach, city spokesperson Kerry Gerot tells KPCC.

Edison, accompanied by Long Beach Police, examined 300 underground vaults throughout downtown Long Beach on Friday, Gerot said, trying to find anything that could cause another power outage. This is the second major power outage from a vault explosion in Long Beach in recent weeks. Four vaults remained uninspected because they were currently inaccessible.

Crews have started making repairs based on the inspections, according to the release. There are more than 75 crews, which includes over 150 people, working on repairs.

"They're continuing with the repairs in the original vault fire outage area today," Gerot said. "Because this vault fire took place, there's a fair amount of damage, so they're working on the cabling and replacing all of that equipment in order to get all of those customers back up onto the grid."

Long Beach officials have been upset with Edison over the second outage, expressing frustration with further disruption. Gerot echoed the city's concerns on Saturday morning.

"The city is continuing to work with [Edison] executives to make sure that this doesn't happen again. However, there still aren't any answers as to what the cause was for the original outage or this secondary outage," Gerot said. "So we'll be continuing to work with SCE to try to get those answers, and SCE wants those answers as well to prevent any future occurrences."

At the height of this recent outage, which began Thursday afternoon, 30,000 customers were without power, according to the release. Edison used generators to help restore power to 190 of the 260 customers who were still without power Friday night, Gerot said.

Edison expects to restore power to all Long Beach residents by Saturday afternoon, according to the release. As of Saturday morning, it was using 10 generators to power local businesses and residents, and planned to transition off the generators later in the day, Gerot said. During the transition, customers could be without power for up to 45 minutes, according to the release.

Edison was also encouraging Long Beach customers to conserve electricity while the system was being repaired, according to the release.

This story has been updated.