An unprecedented power outage has hit California, leaving thousands of customers without power and prompting a lockdown in the state’s most populous city.
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The outage was first reported by the Los Angeles Times late Thursday.
In the meantime, people in the Los Santos area and the Orange County city of Orange were ordered to remain indoors, and the state of California’s Department of Emergency Services declared a statewide emergency.
“I am in the process of evacuating because of a large fire that has been set in the hills near the San Gabriel Valley,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted late Thursday morning.
“Please stay indoors and keep your windows closed.
All units have been put under lock down.
Stay safe and stay tuned.”
California’s Department for Emergency Services (DES) declared a nationwide emergency early Friday morning and asked Californians to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity.
“We’re trying to get the word out,” said Mark Reiss, the director of the California Emergency Management Agency (CEMA), the agency that manages the state.
“The city of Los Angeles is under a mandatory evacuation order, and we’ve been working with the city of Ventura to coordinate the evacuation.
There is a lot of activity, but we’ve got a lot more work to do,” Reiss said.
California is home to one of the world’s largest populations of solar power plants, with more than 1.5 million megawatts of power generating capacity.
The utility, which owns the Southern California Edison (SCE) power grid, said Friday morning that it was “working through the issue” to identify the source of the problem.
In addition to the power outage in Los Angeles, a fire broke out in San Bernardino County, the largest in the United States.
The blaze spread to a power substation, causing some outages and causing power outages in the area of San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
The fire was extinguished in the city around noon (10:30 a.m.
ET) Friday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.
A cause of the fire is under investigation.
The California Department for Forestry and Forest said on its Twitter feed that the fire was contained and the power outage was temporary.
The agency has also released the following statement:”We are working closely with the Los Padres National Forest to determine the cause of this fire.
No additional damage was reported.
Our thoughts and prayers are with our residents.”
Jerry Brown tweeted Friday morning he was calling for a state of emergency in the Golden State.
“Stay indoors and get your windows open,” Brown tweeted.
“Be safe, stay healthy and we’ll keep you updated on any developments.”
The governor’s office later released a statement saying Brown “was informed of the recent incident, which was an isolated incident that has no nexus to the Southern Cal Edison power grid.”
In addition, Governor Brown is asking that we immediately begin the process to relocate all people from the areas affected by this fire into the safety of the city.
“The California Emergency Operations Center (CEOC) was activated and the city’s mayor said in a statement that he was “shocked and saddened to learn of the incident.””
We have the resources to contain and protect the community, but it would be irresponsible to leave them without power,” Egelkos statement continued. “
These are our friends and neighbors, and they deserve the protection of the state.”
“We have the resources to contain and protect the community, but it would be irresponsible to leave them without power,” Egelkos statement continued.
“I ask that you work with the local government and the California State Emergency Management Administration to ensure all residents are safe and secure and to make sure all residents can leave our community and stay out of harm’s way.”
In an earlier tweet, the mayor said he was in touch with the governor’s offices office.
He said it is “in the best interest of our citizens to evacuate.”
Jerry Caliendo, a Democrat, tweeted Friday afternoon that he has requested a state investigation.
“At this time, the governor has requested that a federal investigation be conducted into the causes of this incident and what steps we can take to prevent future incidents,” Caliendos office said in an email to ABC News Friday evening.
The governor was also tweeting on Friday morning, “The federal government is doing everything it can to help, but I am asking the people of the State of California to remain calm and stay inside their homes, and remain vigilant.
Our response to this crisis will be swift, and I am requesting that our emergency responders work with our federal partners to make this an unprecedented situation.
Gov’t says no public schools, businesses affected by power outageIn a statement Friday afternoon, the Southern Nevada Gas Co. said it was