UPDATE: 2,700 Long Beach Residents Still Without Power Thursday Afternoon; Officials Work to Reduce to "a Few Hundred" by Tonight

LATEST: Downtown Long Beach Power Outages Expected to Continue into Friday Morning, Possibly Later [Click here]


Photo by Asia Morris. 

UPDATE | About 2,700 Southern California Edison customers in downtown Long Beach remained without power Thursday afternoon, Southern California Edison officials announced at a 3:00PM press conference.

Southern California Edison's Paul Grigaux, vice president of transmission, substations and operations, said they were hoping to minimize the number of those affected to "a few hundred" by tonight. He said the company was unsure how long it would take to return power to all Long Beach residents, of whom about 11,000 were affected during the peak hours of the power outage earlier today. 

At the press conference, residents were encouraged to put their trash out for a Friday pick up, and to refrain from eating spoiled food in their refrigerator. 

Officials also announced that parking would not be enforced through Sunday in the affected areas of the power outage. 

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

PREVIOUSLY: 3,000 Residents Remain Without Power Thursday After Wednesday's Underground Fire

7/16/15 at 1:05PM | About 3,000 Southern California Edison customers in downtown Long Beach remained without power midday Thursday as SCE workers continued working on the area's underground electric system.

According to SCE officials, the outages appear to be the result of the failure of equipment in the underground system in the downtown area, causing several underground vaults to be damaged.

Underground systems are more difficult to evaluate, test and repair than overhead wires, and work is progressing as quickly and as safely as possible, a press release stated.

The outage began at 3:08PM Wednesday, SCE officials said. Officials hope power is restored by 2:00PM, but are not certain, said Kerry Gerot of the city's Emergency Operations Center. 

This story will be updated as more information becomes available. 

PREVIOUSLY: Underground Fire Prompts Power Outages Throughout Parts of Downtown Long Beach


7/15/15 at 6:00PM | The stench of smoke filled the air Wednesday evening after a power outage earlier in the day caused an underground fire and a manhole cover to pop into the air in downtown Long Beach Wednesday afternoon, Long Beach Fire Department officials said.

Authorities also announced that power outages are expected for the next several hours on Wednesday from Seventh Street south to the waterfront, between Magnolia and Alamitos Avenue while Southern California Edison corrects the issue.

Long Beach police officers responded to reports of smoke coming from manhole covers on the 400 block of West 3rd Street at 3:38PM, according to LBFD spokesman Jake Heflin.

A fire unit then arrived and reported smoke coming from two vents and at 3:54PM a manhole cover popped 3-4 feet off the ground in the alley off of 3rd Street and Virginia Court, he said.

Authorities believe the incident happened when Southern California Edison workers fixing a power outage earlier in the day shifted the power to another system and overloaded that system, causing the fire in the underground vault.

Firefighters then put the fire out and cooled the vault to allow workers to continue working. No injuries were reported.

Firefighters were also clearing activated fire alarms and stuck elevators caused by the power outage.

Fire officials do not know how long the power outages will last.

Roads are closed between Magnolia and Cedar Avenues on Third Street.

Above, left photo by Keeley Smith. 

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