Larchmont is mostly closed for business today. It seems only the parking meters were spared the power outage that started yesterday afternoon. We checked in with a few intrepid businesses that were trying to stay open and serve their customers.
Julio Figueroa, the manager of Louise’s Trattoria, was outside the restaurant with some staff members when we stopped by a few hours ago. They were hoping the power would come back on so they could open. Ava Lemons at Malin and Goetz, was open too. Lemons said she was going to see if she could stick it out until the power comes back. Her boss told her it should be on around this afternoon. (Buzz calls to the LADWP for information on when the power might come back have not yet been returned.)
Thea Krizmanich posted a sign on the door at Diptyque inviting customers inside. She told the Buzz she was keeping the door is closed to keep the shop cool. Bonne Chance was open too, though the owner wasn’t sure how long it would be open. It’s hard to transact business without power, since sales require power…but the stores we talked to were doing it the old fashioned way, taking cash or writing down credit card information. Alegria Bazaar tried to open, but then closed again, putting up a sign that the owners were praying for the LADWP workers. Chevalier’s Books was open when we started our walk on Larchmont, but had closed as the reality of operating without power on a hot day sunk in.
Kreation Juice is open just like normal, however, thanks to the quick thinking of manager Ulises Cervantes, who rented a large generator yesterday afternoon when he learned about the power outage on his day off. Cervantes proudly showed the Buzz the very impressive diesel powered generator in the back of the store.
A few doors away, Steve Cohen of the Village Pizzeria was also using a generator to power his refrigeration, but wasn’t able to open the restaurant yet.
According to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, yesterday’s record-breaking heat resulted in power outages for about 34,500 customers in the city, including 5,800 in the Westlake area, 4,400 in Koreatown and 2,000 in the Beverly Grove area. The Grove also lost power yesterday evening, along with some homes in the Miracle Mile and Fairfax areas, but it was restored at the Grove, at least, later in the evening.)
A message from the DWP this morning said:
“The peak energy demand level on Friday, July 6 reached 6256 Megawatts (MW), setting a new record for a July day, beating the previous record of 6165 MW on July 24, 2006. It marked the 5th highest peak demand ever recorded in the City of Los Angeles. LADWP’s Power System has adequate resources to meet the energy demand. The latest load forecast for today is estimated to in the 5500 MW range.
LADWP crews worked throughout the night to restore power and will work around the clock until every affected customer has service restored. All available crews have been deployed this morning and they are working 16-hour shifts in extreme heat conditions to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. At this time, due to the high number of localized outages, the estimated time for restoration is 12 – 24 hours, with some outages potentially taking longer to restore. Customers should plan for 12 to 24 hours without power and possibly even longer due to the high number of small localized outages.”
Residents around Larchmont in Windsor Square also reported on social media continuing power outages. Street lights at several intersections on Rossmore, Third Street and Beverly Blvd were still out this afternoon, with neighbors complaining about traffic problems and speeding cars. (Note – if a traffic light is out, it should be treated as a stop sign, not ignored: “A blacked-out traffic signal should be treated the same as a stop sign. You should only proceed when you know that all other turning and approaching vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians will also be stopping.”)
And, as if there wasn’t enough aggravation all around, a large eucalyptus tree fell on Clinton Street, between Van Ness and Wilton Avenues, around 9 pm last night, blowing out a transformer, downing three power poles and causing another neighborhood outage in the Larchmont Village area. Neighbors reported on social media that a transformer blew up setting fire to nearby landscaping. The fire was quickly put out and this morning crews were working in restoring the power to the area.