Huge power outage dims South state

September 8, 2011

A power outage of monumental proportion has darkened San Diego County and parts of Southern Orange County, Palm Springs and Baja, Mexico, NBC Los Angeles is reporting.

More than 1.4 million Pacific Gas & Electric customers, and others in outlying areas, have been affected.

The rolling blackout occurred at 5:37 p.m., when the utility company advised its customers via Twitter: “If you have a personal family emergency plan, please activate it now.”

According to early reports, the outage was triggered after a 500-kilovolt high-voltage line stretching from Arizona to California tripped out of service. A surge in usage in the wake of a heat wave was thought by authorities to be a contributing factor.

Rescue personnel were concentrating on unique operations, such as extracting stranded people from stalled elevators.

Many law enforcement agencies have emergency backup power, as does the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, which reported the Mexico-California border remains open.

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I sure wouldn’t have wanted to be trapped in an elevator. I could develop a case of high anxiety just thinking about it. I use stairs as often as possible and here I am reading about all the people who got trapped.

Some years back while working on Sunset Blvd in LA we had a power outage and people were trapped in the elevator on my floor (the 11th). The maintenance guy and a few others were working on getting the doors open because one of the woman had claustrophobia and was screaming and causing another woman to panic and cry for help as well. I knew her and was talking to her (through the doors) trying to reassure her that it would be OK. The elevator was stopped between the 10th and 11th floor with about 30 inches to spare. One guy was going to help the woman climb out when the elevator suddenly moved about 6 inches and then 5 seconds later dropped another foot. If she had been climbing out at that moment, she would have been squished! I’ll never forget it. What happened is that after the electric came on (from the backup generators that the maintenance crew activated) the electronic safety features on the elevator didn’t immediately recognize that the doors were open! Scary stuff.

News is reporting that this was caused by a utility worker in AZ.

Typical. Blame the little guy, the blue-collar worker, the guy who’s forced to work longer hours for fewer benefits just to keep his job and so the company can demonstrate that they’ve increased their “productivity” to their Wall Street bosses.

Things the media will never blame:

— deregulation

— corporate culture

— “productivity”

— distrust in government is a lie sold to us by the republican & libertarian corporatists

You’re dead wrong. It was the little guy making a mistake that caused the outage.

The bigger picture is that there should have been failsafe devices or redundant systems that made an accident of this magnitude impossible. So the little guy screwed up but he should have had “back up” from his organization.

As far as your theory that this is somehow part of the great lie sold to us by the republicans, you’ve got that backwards too. Get ready for the avalanche of accusations from the IBEW because Arizona is a right to work state. Non signatory and non union. The labor union drones will state that all this would never have happened if they’s have well trained highly paid union electricians or technicians on the job. Maybe…..maybe not.

It’s not that simple, just like your blanket accusation of all republicans and libertarians.

Did I say ALL republicans or libertarians? Better re-read the post.

As to failsafe devices, well, you’re making my point better than I did — it’s the corporation’s responsibility to provide a safe workplace, but it’s taken regulation to make that a reality, and republicans and libertarians have whittled away at the regs since before Reagan’s time and have, quite frankly, been largely successful, especially since a key part of the strategy has been to weaken labor unions.

“the utility company advised its customers via Twitter: “If you have a personal family emergency plan, please activate it now.”

Huh? What about people who don’t use Twitter? Shocking news: not everyone does!

That was my thought exactly!

I surely don’t use Twitter. I don’t want to hear what people and company’s are up to all day long.


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