If you live in the part of L.A. County that bleeds into the San Fernando Valley, you may have spent much of last night in total darkness. The home of the “valley girl accent” and the most extreme temperatures in Los Angeles essentially shut down last night because of a power outage, leaving residents to stew in dark, sweltering homes for up nearly half a day.
If you weren’t one of those lucky 140,000 San Fernado Valley residents affected by the outage and are scratching your non sweaty head, here’s what happened.
Last night, an explosion at a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power plant in Northridge caused a mass black out.
Thanks, LADWP! According to local news station KTLA, the explosion happened around 6:53 p.m. So basically, prime dinner time. If dinner was a microwaved Easy Mac, you were screwed. You were also screwed if you wanted to watch anything on TV. Or get anything out of the fridge. Or if you were trying to call your grandma from a house phone.
Okay, so it was actually super serious.
It took seventy-four firefighters to extinguish the large fire in two hours (all in 108º F heat, BTW). Luckily, no one was hurt.
According to one of the LADWP’s statements, “Approximately 140,000 residential and commercial customers in the areas of Northridge, Winnetka, Reseda, Lake Balboa, Tarzana, North Hills, Granada Hills, Chatsworth, West Hills, Canoga Park, and Woodland Hills [were] without power due to power having been cut off at RS-J to allow crews to work safely to put out the fire.”
The issue even bled into other parts of the valley and valley-adjacent parts of Los Angeles with reported hour-long black outs in North Hollywood, Studio City, Brentwood, Westwood, and West LA.
People in the affected areas were quickly losing precious phone battery.
They took to Twitter to express their anguish at the situation before reaching 0%. Even scarier, many of them had to tweet without wifi.
The scariest part? Some Angelenos weren’t able to tweet at all.
We’re joking, a little, but we’re also serious. Those without power or cell service weren’t even able to access updates online from the LADWP about what had happened, if the fire had been put out, or when power might be restored.
Power returned to many just before 9 a.m. this morning. Some even saw earlier turn-on times and expressed how thankful they were via Twitter.
Electricity! Air conditioning! Microwaves! TV! All have returned to the people of the San Fernando Valley. Just in time too, as temperatures will stay in the high eighties through the rest of the week.