LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Customers who have already spent two days and two nights without power in Long Beach may see more power outages as crews continue to work on the system, officials say.
Thursday was night two without power for Eve Rosales, who was living off candles, flashlights and a lantern.
“It would be nice if they had plan B for something this huge,” Rosales said.
“What are they going to do as far as helping customers? And losing not just losing light, but food and medication,” she asked.
Southern California Edison crews Thursday night were still working to restore power after it went out for 4,000 customers Wednesday afternoon.
Officials say 2,600 customers remained without power around 11 p.m. Thursday.
Three underground vault fires are to blame. One at 3rd and Chestnut caused a manhole cover to pop off.
City officials say efforts to test the system and restore power Thursday resulted in additional underground fires and outages.
Many businesses had to shut their doors.
Brew Haus Coffee had power until noon Thursday.
“They kept promising two hours it’s gonna come on … It just didn’t. So here we are in the dark, waiting it out,” owner Kim Vargas said, adding that so far it hasn’t taken too big a bite out of business.
“I’m hoping. I’m really keeping my fingers crossed, saying a little prayer,” she said.
SCE officials are asking customers to be patient but say their efforts to restore the system could result in more outages.
“We’ve got to find the problems, make sure we know where they’re at,” spokesperson Steve Conroy said. “It’s highly maintained. New components. New infrastructure. Obviously we had a failure yesterday. We haven’t quite figured out why. That’s part of the investigation. Right now we’re just trying to get the lights on.”
SCE may be taking claims from businesses and residents for the cost of lost business and items that went bad.
Officials say they have a team of about 300 ready to investigate and work on repairs Friday if power has yet to be restored.