Downed Edison cable leaves 1,500 customers, La Cañada High without power

A sign outside the Trader Joe’s in La Cañada Thursday morning announces that, due to an earlier power outage, the store could not open at its usual hour. An employee explained the refrigeration system had to be checked before the store could reopen.
(Sara Cardine / La Cañada Valley Sun)

High winds reportedly downed a Southern California Edison cable on La Cañada’s Berkshire Avenue early Thursday, leaving more than 1,500 customers, including some Foothill Boulevard businesses, without power for more than two hours, a utility spokesman reported.

And, in an incident related to the cable and its repair, the La Cañada High School campus twice lost power — briefly at around 5 a.m. and again after 10 a.m., causing students and teachers to hold fourth-period classes without lights and internet connectivity, Principal Jim Cartnal said.

“Classrooms that did not have adequate natural light were moved to the Information Resource Center,” Cartnal wrote in an email to school families Thursday morning, explaining that an earlier brief outage occurred at around 5 a.m. but ended quickly.

Edison spokesman Robert Villegas said the initial unplanned outage began at around 2:24 a.m. and affected areas from Greenridge Drive south to Berkshire Avenue and from Encinas Drive to the easternmost edge of the city.


As of 5:11 a.m., power had been rerouted to an adjacent circuit and restored to all but four customers whose residences were located near the origin point.

“The issue with the cable was at Dover [Road] and Berkshire, so there are four customers in that immediate area where the repairs are continuing without power,” Villegas said, indicating the problem was fixed at around 10 a.m.

Customers outside the Trader Joe’s on Foothill Boulevard shortly before 10 a.m. were disappointed to find the store shuttered and makeshift cardboard signs out front reading: “Due to lack of power, Trader Joe’s is currently closed.”

An employee stationed at the door explained workers arrived for the morning shift to find the store without power. Although it was quickly restored, the refrigeration system required additional checking before doors could open.


Shortly after that, less than a mile away, the second outage struck La Cañada High School at 10:15 a.m., lasting nearly an hour.

Villegas said that power failure occurred after Edison workers had fixed the cable on Berkshire Avenue and attempted to return affected customers to their original circuit.

“They were bringing the cables back and switching power to the original configuration, and when they did that it tripped the circuit for the school,” he said. “They tested it to make sure it was alright and reenergized it at 11:11.”

Meanwhile, high and shifting winds caused utility officials to remain on high alert throughout the day, although no public safety planned shutoffs had been issued for La Cañada Flintridge as of early Thursday evening.

In Cartnal’s letter to LCHS families, he mentioned smoky air conditions around the campus required the cancellation of all after-school sports for grades 7-12.

“As it regards the age-old Halloween question of trick or treat, this was definitely a trick, but our Spartans kept calm and continued learning,” he said.

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