A car that crashed into a Bristol Street power pole early Sunday morning triggered an outage that threatened to leave 1,000 local households without electricity for as long as 48 hours, officials said.
The 1 a.m. single-car crash in the 300 block of North Bristol Street initially knocked power out for about 3,500 customers, but within two hours, all but 1,000 had regained electricity, according to Ray Golden, spokesman for Southern California Edison.
Edison crews were working into the night Sunday to restring wire and replace heavy copper wires that will return power to those remaining customers, he said. Officials hoped the power would be on by Monday morning, but said the need for extensive repairs could leave residents without electricity through Tuesday, Golden said.
The crisis was created when an Oldsmobile Cutlass crashed into a supporting rod and a guide wire for a power pole, Santa Ana Police Officer Jeff Smith said. The driver fled the scene and was still being sought Sunday, police said.
The crash disabled two electrical circuits for the surrounding neighborhoods, damaging wires and burning out the ceramic insulators that protect them, Golden said. Crews quickly rerouted power through other circuits, but the damage was too extensive to sidestep completely and required major equipment to be replaced, Golden said.
Fliers were distributed to inform local residents about the situation, and Edison was providing free emergency kits containing flashlights, coolers for perishable foods and other items.
Police and residents said the crash created bright blue flashes and extended bursts of sparks that lit up the area along Bristol Street. Then, like a wave washing down the street, all the lights blinked out.
‘It was a real light show,” Santa Ana Police Lt. Dave Petko said.