A major power outage knocked out electricity to more than 5 million people in California, Arizona and Mexico on Thursday, bringing San Diego and Tijuana to a standstill and leaving people sweltering in the late-summer heat in the surrounding desert.
The outage extended from southern parts of Orange County to San Diego to Yuma, Arizona. It also affected cities south of the border across much of the state of northern Baja.
Power is slowly coming back online for some people in California, but most of the 5 million who lost electricity across the Southwest will remain in the dark through the night.
Two nuclear reactors were offline after losing electricity, but officials said there was no danger to the public or workers. FBI officials ruled out terrorism while power plant authorities struggled to find the cause of the outage that started shortly before 4 p.m. PDT.
San Diego bore the brunt of the blackout; most of the nation’s eighth-largest city was darkened. All outgoing flights from San Diego’s Lindbergh Field were grounded and police stations were using generators to accept emergency calls across the area.
The trolley system that shuttles thousands of commuters every day was shut down and freeways were clogged at rush hour. Trains were stopped in Los Angeles, an Amtrak spokesman said, because there was no power to run the lights, gates, bells and traffic control signals.
Police directed traffic at intersections where signals stopped working.
Mexican television reported that power was out in Baja California as far south as Ensenada.
Massive Power Outage Follows Terror Threat Alert!! (Thursday, just hours after Homeland Security warned of a possible terror strike to in the days leading up to the tenth anniversary of 9/11.)
Thanks to Daveyo