Massive Power Outage in Santa Barbara

The lights are out all over Santa Barbara, and Southern California Edison is currently estimating that service will be restored by 8 a.m. Friday morning in Montecito, but has no estimate on the rest of the outage area.

According to Edison’s website, the outage started a little after 5:30 p.m. and affecting the 93101, 93105, and 93108 zip codes. “There is currently a widespread power outage in this area,” the site says when searching those areas. “This outage is due to an equipment problem…Repair crews have been notified and are aware of the problem.”

Depending on which code searched, there are different messages. The 93105 zone appears to be resolved, as the message now reports: “SCE is not aware of any outages currently affecting this area. To report an outage please call 800-611-1911.”

For 93101, which covers downtown Santa Barbara: “We are in the process of testing the lines to try and isolate the problem to as few customers as possible. Currently, we do not have an estimated time when service will be fully restored. We will update this message as information is known. Please check back again later.”

For 93108, which covers most of Montecito: “Our first response team has completed initial repairs; additional repair crews have been notified and will be responding.” This code also has an estimate of restored service: “Based on past experience, we forecast service should be restored near Friday, October 03, 2014 8 a.m.”

Among other outage anecdotes, firefighters were called in to help many of the elder patrons leaving the Tony Bennett show at the Granada Theater, the city basketball league games that play at SBCC were canceled for the evening, and shoppers at the Trader Joe’s on Milpas has to leave their shopping carts in the aisles. Many of the monthly First Thursday events around State Street were also dimmed by the outage.

As many as 20,000 people have reportedly been affected by the outage, though the numbers are probably much higher when all of those out and about Santa Barbara on a normal afternoon are counted.

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