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Rodent cause of power outage

August 25, 2010

Huntington Beach residents were left in the dark Aug. 18 when the power went out for more than 21,000 users, thanks to a rodent that got caught in electrical equipment, officials said.

Electricity went out across a portion of Huntington Beach, including City Hall, at 2:53 p.m., said Southern California Edison spokesman Paul Klein.

A rodent at an Edison substation caused a circuit breaker to fail to open and catch fire, said Jenelle Froisland, the region manager of public affairs for Edison, in an e-mail.

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In City Hall, staff sat in the dark without computers while Edison worked to fix the outage, officials said.

The city's emergency generators provided some emergency lights, but the elevators and air conditioners were down, said police Lt. Russell Reinhart.

Electricity originally went out from 22nd Street north to Bushard Street and Pacific Coast Highway to Garfield Avenue, but was restored to about 16,000 users by 5 p.m.

About 4,000 residents between Yorktown and Indianapolis avenues and Lake and Bushard streets had to wait a little longer until all power was restored at 5:15 p.m., Froisland said.

—Britney Barnes

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