LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Power was restored to Southern California Edison customers Tuesday following a massive outage that affected several South Bay communities.
At the height of the outage, more than 102,000 residents living in Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Hawthorne, Gardena, Inglewood and Torrance were without power.
“Crews worked as quickly and as safely as possible to restore service to those affected by the outage,” SCE said in a written statement. “Currently, SCE has multiple teams mobilized to fully investigate the cause of the outage and to determine any factors that may have contributed to it.”
According to the Torrance Police Department, a flare-off at the Torrance Refinery Company, formerly known as the ExxonMobil site, was done as a safety precaution in response to the outage.
“The flare is a safety device that refineries use to relieve pressure and ensure gases are safely combusted to minimize releases to the atmosphere,” said Betsy Brian, community relations manager of Torrance Refining Company. “We have begun restarting operations, which will take days, and plan to do so safely with minimal noise and flaring.”
CBS2’s Kara Finnstrom reported workers at the plant were evacuated after the refinery completely lost power.
Paramedics transported one refinery employee to a hospital for evaluation. An update on the extent of his injuries was not immediately available.
According to the refinery, personnel conducted fenceline monitoring, which detected zero readings.
KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO’s Pete Demetriou reported a fire at the facility caused the power outage to occur.
Torrance residents were urged to shelter in place for about one hour.
Traffic lights on surface streets were affected by the outage. Police urged motorists to treat all major intersections as four-way stops.
Some residents reported smelling rotten eggs and sulfur near the 110 and 405 freeways as a result of the flare-off.
The cause of the power outage remains under investigation.