Local News in Brief : Power Outage Hits During Rush Hour

Most of Pasadena was without electricity for up to two hours Wednesday night during a power outage that apparently was caused by a faulty switch controlling a main high-voltage transmission line, police said.

The outage affected about 80 percent of city residents and knocked out traffic lights through a large swath of the city at the height of rush hour. Police officers were stationed at major intersections to direct traffic.

Police Sgt. Bruce A. Linsenmayer said police received scores of calls, but none amounted to anything serious.

"No injuries, no traffic accidents, nothing--and it happened right at prime time," he said.

David C. Plumb, general manager of Pasadena's Water and Power Department, said the switch shut down a 230-kilovolt transmission line for just a few seconds. But the power loss caused a chain reaction that disrupted other power lines connected to the system.

Plumb said the department is still unsure what caused the switching problem.

Workers began restoring power soon after the lines shut down and had power back to all homes by 6:45 p.m. There are approximately 50,000 homes in the city.

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