Power Outage Closes Shops on Foothill

An hourslong power outage Friday along Foothill Boulevard in La Cañada Flintridge caused some businesses to close and generated plenty of consternation among residents.
The outage was caused by underground equipment failure, according to Southern California Edison spokesman David Song, who said crews had to replace 400 feet of underground cable.
For those operating businesses or living in the 900 block of Foothill Boulevard, that meant living without electricity from 5:23 a.m. Friday, Sept. 2, until 11:08 p.m.
In other areas affected by the outage, notably in the area of Gould Avenue and Foothill Boulevard, the electricity returned sooner, either by late morning or early afternoon, as SCE crews re-routed power to as many customers as possible, Song said.
While electrical crews were doing the dangerous work of replacing more than a football field worth of electrical wire, businesses in the area were struggling to cope without power.
“That hurt real bad,” Andre Cutler, manager of Sprouts, said of the outage. “We lost some sales.”
The grocery store had to bring in a backup generator. But because it didn’t arrive until later in the day, the store remained closed for all but from 8-10 p.m. Friday.
“We were able to get things started back up around 7:30 p.m.,” Cutler said. “We tried to salvage what we could … but we lost some sales, product, you name it.”
He said a crew came in to get everything cleaned up and restocked by the start of business on Saturday.
A couple of doors up Foothill, Eiji’s florist also closed its doors, shutting down for all of Friday.
“We lost some product,” said owner Jorell Esteban, who was going to make a claim with his insurance company to retrieve lost sales. “We require refrigeration … because the flowers need to be kept fresh, and they weren’t.”
He said he receives emails from SCE reporting that, initially, the power was expected to return by 9:30 a.m. But that changed to 1 p.m., 6 p.m., 11 p.m. and then, finally, 6 a.m. Saturday. Electricity returned about seven hours earlier than that, according to Song, although Esteban thought it was closer to 1 a.m.
One Click Cleaners next door remained open Friday, literally keeping its doors open so the shop would remain cool in the absence of air conditioning. No coffee was served, but because the clothing items are taken to be dry-cleaned off site, business wasn’t affected much — with the exception of receipts having to be written by hand.
“We lost our computer system,” said David O’Connor, co-owner. “We had to go total old school.”

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