SCE: 60 To Remain Without Power Overnight

LONG BEACH (CNS) - Utility crews worked to restore electricity to about 260 customers still without service in Long Beach today after a fire and blast in an underground vault -- the second such outage this month.

At least 30,000 customers initially were affected by the vault fire, which happened about 4:15 p.m. Thursday near 10th Street and Pine Avenue, Susan
Cox of Southern California Edison said.

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As of 6 p.m. today, about 260 customers were without electricity and crews hope to restore service to most of them by 10 p.m., according to SCE.

About 60 customers were expected to be without service overnight and SCE planned to use generators to provide them with temporary power, SCE reported.

Beginning about 10 a.m., crews, some of them brought in from across SCE's service area, began systematically checking about 300 underground vaults
for potential heating, cable and component abnormalities, Cox said.

Those inspections were completed by about 5:30 p.m., according to SCE. Cox encouraged customers to conserve electricity and said that four generators had already been deployed to restore service to some residential customers, including older residents of high-rise buildings.

Meanwhile, volunteers at Cesar Chavez Park were on hand handing out water, ice and flashlights, Cox said. The outage area Thursday was roughly bounded by Lily Way to the north, Pacific Avenue to the west, Tribune Court to the east and Nardo Way to the south, according to SCE.

Southern California Edison reports that 10th Street is closed between Pine and Locust avenues and Tribune Court is closed between 10th and
Ninth streets as crews work on repairs to circuits

It's unclear what caused the blast, but Cox said the problem was similar to underground electrical vault fires that knocked out power to 4,800 customers on July 15.

In that case, service wasn't restored until July 19. No injuries were reported as a result of the fires, but some cast-iron manhole covers were blasted into the air and came down amid midday traffic.

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