Critical Infrastructure Disruption in USA on July 09 2017 06:01 AM (UTC).
Power has been restored to more than a third of the 140,000 Valley homes and businesses affected by an intentional outage Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials caused Saturday to aid firefighters battling flames at a DWP facility. DWP estimated the initial power outage affected 140,000 customers on a very warm night in the following communities: Northridge, Winnetka, Reseda, Lake Balboa, Tarzana, North Hills, Granada Hills, Chatsworth, West Hills, Canoga Park and Woodland Hills. But by about 10 p.m., power for 50,000 of those customers was restored, according to the DWP. The power was purposefully cut to allow firefighters to safely work heavy flames at the plant at 18900 Parthenia St., the DWP reported. An explosion was first reported at 6:53 p.m., Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department said. The facility is known as Receiving Station J, said LADWP spokesman Michael Ventre. It was not known when all power would be restored. An LADWP employee on the scene said he'd just gotten off a 16 hour-shift and would have to start another at midnight. "It's got to be done," he said. "People are without power." Eighty-four firefighters used water and foam to extinguish the fire, Humphrey said. The fire was in an energized storage vault that contained 50-60,000 gallons of mineral oil, he said. No injuries were reported. Firefighters had the bulk of flames out in two hours but were expected to remain on the scene into the morning to watch for flare-ups, he said. Humphrey urged drivers in the area to be cautious going through intersections that might be dark due to the power outages. Parthenia Street was closed in both directions between Vanalden and Yolanda avenues. The outages occurred following a day of record high temperatures across the Southland, including Woodland Hills, where the high reached 110 degrees, besting the previous record of 108, set in 2006. Downtown Los Angeles tied its record temperature of 96 degrees, which was set July 8, 1954. At 9:05 p.m., shouts rang out amid the townhomes on Hatteras Avenue in Tarzana, which was the southerly edge of the DWP-imposed blackout. Driving further north, the lights suddenly darkened once again at Strathern Street, where there was a battered car from a crash in the middle of a darkened intersection at Wilbur Avenue. There was a eerie feeling in the air as long lines of headlights snaked across the ultra-wide San Fernando Valley boulevards, passing by darkened Del Tacos, 76 gas stations, 99-cent stores and scores of businesses and restaurants that would have normally been popping with life on any Saturday night. Meanwhile, fire engines raced through the night, most of them heading south on such streets as Tampa Avenue, the location of the Northridge Fashion Square mall. While there had been rumors of possible looting at the mall, the shopping center appeared brightly lit with a parking garage brightly lit, powered by backup generators, according to security guards, who seemed to be out in force, patrolling the mall's capacious parking lot. The few remaining store clerks exiting the building after the mall closed at 9 p.m. said they witnessed no looting. Meanwhile, potential customers continued to stream in to inquire if there were any open restaurants.