(May 8, 2001) -- Parts of LB had their electric power shut off by SCE today in nearly two hours of rolling blackouts to meet reductions ordered by CA's Independent System Operator. The first hour of forced outages struck parts of LB starting at 3:15 p.m.; a second round began at 4:15 p.m. and ended shortly after 5:00 p.m.
One area hit in the first hour of blackouts was at Clark Ave. and Arbor Rd. in the Old Lakewood Village area. It produced a hair-raising situation as school buses carrying children from nearby Twain Elementary School dodged through an intersection with a darkened signal light and anarchic cross traffic.
Cars quickly backed up on Clark Ave., at one point extending south to Centralia St. and north to Del Amo Blvd.
Blacked out areas were widely scattered. In addition to parts of LB, portions of San Marino, Newport Beach, Santa Monica and (probably uncomfortably) Palm Desert were affected.
As previously reported on LBReport.com, starting in June SCE will begin giving customers some idea of whether their area is likely or unlikely to be blacked out. SCE will begin listing a "rotating outage block number" on customer's bills. Customers can then use SCE's web site or a telephone line to learn if their outage block is listed among those coming up in rotation for blackouts.
SCE says this may reduce (but not totally eliminate) uncertainty as to whether one's area is more or less likely to be blacked out. PG&E has been providing this consumer information for months; SDG&E already provides it on its phone lines. SCE said it was already planning to provide this information to its customers regardless of the PUC's order.
(Details at: SCE To Begin Providing Rotating Outage Block Numbers & Info To Customers.)