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Sept. 8, 2011:
SAN DIEGO - Millions of people on both sides of the
U.S.-Mexico border were left without power Thursday
after a major outage that extended from Arizona to
southern California, including San Diego, the eighth
largest U.S. city.
"To my knowledge this is the first time we've lost an
The outage started before 4 p.m. PDT extended from
southern parts of Orange County to San Diego to
Yuma, Arizona. It also is affecting cities south of
the border across much of the state of northern Baja.
All outgoing flights from San Diego's Lindbergh Field
were grounded and police stations were using gener-
ators to accept emergency calls across San Diego
Residents in parts of eastern San Diego County and
Yuma, Ariz. endured sweltering temperatures with
no air conditioning.
"It's 113 degrees right now outside and 75 in my office,"
said Yuma city spokesman Greg Hyland, who was sitting
in the dark, answering calls.
1.4 million customers may be without power until Friday.
transmission failure that started at a large switching
station in Arizona, where several high-voltage lines come
"I suspect the system was overwhelmed by too many
outages in too many places,"
In the desert heat of the Palm Springs area, the temperature
was 111 on Thursday, with the rolling blackouts.
The Eisenhower Medical Center will serve as an oasis
of air conditioning since it operates on its own power
source. Hospital welcomed fragile seniors and others
affected by the heat to cool off in their lobby.
In southern Orange County, the sheriff's department
dispatched deputies to busy intersections because
traffic lights were out, said John McDonald, a sheriff's
spokesman. Outages were confirmed in San Clemente,
San Juan Capistrano and Laguna Hills, he said.