A blown transformer at Manhattan Village shopping center left nearly 2,230 Southern California Edison customers without power Thursday night, just nearly 24 hours before a planned outage in the city.
The outage began around 8 p.m., affecting a perimeter bound by Rosecrans Avenue to the north, Isis to the east, 11th Street to the south and Grand View Avenue to the west.
Scott Gobble of SCE said late Friday afternoon that power was restored for most residents by 9:45 p.m. and the mall after midnight. A “portion of the mall” was restored around 9 a.m. Friday morning by a generator, he said, adding that SCE crew is “still out there working” on site to diagnose and fix the issue.
On Monday, Gobble attributed the cause of the blowout to underground cable failure by the Tin Roof Bistro parking lot. He said new conduits and cables have been placed as of Sunday afternoon. Customers currently relying on Manhattan Village’s generator will see regular service by Tuesday morning, he said.
Craig Kline, a resident on 23rd Street, said his wife was looking out the window Thursday evening she saw the transformer on Cedar and Marine Avenue sending out sparks. Shortly, around 8 p.m., power went out throughout the neighborhood. An Edison crew came to the site and left within the hour. Power wouldn’t be restored until after noon the following day—a 16-hour blackout.
“That evening there was no activity at all in terms of efforts to make any kind of repair,” Kline said. “My wife had a series of prescription medicine in the refrigerator that was beginning to deteriorate. They treat their customers like garbage across the board.”
Kline said he called Edison around 6 a.m. when he saw that power had been restored for the Manhattan Village commercial area. The representative he spoke with told him the outage was caused by a car accident, he said, attributing the issue to an external source instead of systematic failure.
“I told them my wife and I witnessed the sparks … There was no car accident,” he said. “I suspect it was a lie.”
Kline was transferred to a supervisor, who reiterated what was “given to them on a computer screen,” he said. Around 10:45 a.m., the Edison crew returned to the transformer on Cedar and Marine, and power was restored 20 minutes past noon, Kline said.
“We’ve had consistently unsatisfactory service from Edison, compounded by lies,” he said. “They made no efforts to own up to their lies and correct their mistakes, and moreover no apology whatsoever.”
Ineptitude, unresponsiveness and a serial pattern of lying on Edison’s part, he said, are what prompted him to contact Sen. Ted Lieu the following day.
“You play games like this in a city like Manhattan Beach, you’re gonna find people who have the resources to go forward and take it to the next step,” Kline said.
Friday’s planned outage lasted from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. Saturday, affecting residences in northern Hermosa Beach and southern Manhattan Beach. All affected customers were notified, Gobble said.