Sept. 17, 2013
Tim Dewar, firstname.lastname@example.org
A dark sky initiative of a different kind hit Ojai Saturday at 9 p.m. when problems in an underground transformer left approximately 2,300 Southern California Edison (SCE) customers without electricity.
Although crews restored power to all but 23 customers within approximately 20 minutes, ultimately 75 customers, including many downtown businesses, remained powerless while more permanent repairs were made Sunday.
According to Nancy Williams, SCE region manager, initial indications are that wiring in the transformer failed, causing the outage. She added that crews had to pump water from the transformer vault before they could proceed with repairs. She was unsure at the time where the water might have come from.
Guests at a private outdoor party at the Lavender Inn sang acapella after the lights went out and the band couldn’t play.
Two blocks away, however, there was no singing at Ojai Ice Cream in the Arcade, one of the businesses that remained without power throughout the day Sunday.
Rydbeck said he had to throw away 66 tubs, almost 200 gallons of ice cream, sorbet and gelato. One of his dipping cabinets lost its Freon® charge during the outage. He spend Monday making fresh batches of his homemade goodies, but remained at half capacity until the cabinet could be recharged. He expected to be fully operational again sometime Wednesday.
“Between replacement costs, repairs and the money I would have made, that cost me about $5,000,” Rydbeck added.
Williams said any SCE customer who suffered a loss because of the outage may be entitled to reimbursement. She said claim forms can be requested by calling 1-800-655-4555.