SHERMAN OAKS—A crow flew into a circuit breaker on Thursday, June 23 triggering blackouts throughout the San Fernando Valley and causing heavy traffic congestion.
About 15,000 homes and businesses suffered power outages for most of the day on Thursday when a crow came in contact with a 34,500-volt circuit breaker in Valley Village.
The outage was reported at approximately 8:48 a.m. within Distributing Station 57 in Valley Village, located at 5500 Laurel Canyon Blvd., according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).
The affected areas included: Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Valley Village, and North Hollywood.
City traffic officers reported to several busy intersections without power to help direct traffic, including, Chandler and Lankershim, Burbank and Lankershim, and Oxnard and Laurel Canyon.
Crews were dispatched from the LADWP to restore service, but their efforts lasted upwards of 10 hours.
The type of outage is typically restored quickly by switching the circuit to a functioning power bank, according to the LAPD; in this situation, the entire distribution station had lost power.
By 4:30 p.m., about 13,000 customers in the Valley Village and Studio City areas remained without power.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power worked to restore power to customers in Valley Village, Valley Glen, and Studio City, according to Ellen Cheng, the company’s spokeswoman.
“Because the distribution station serves quite a few customers, when we do have damage, it has the potential to affect a large number of people, which is what happened,” said Cheng.
A large remote electric transformer called a “hog wagon” was moved into the area to help restore power as needed, according to the LAPD.
Around 7:30 p.m., LADWP officials reported that more than 11,000 customers had their power restored and that they would remain on site until the remaining 4,200 were back on the grid. At approximately 10 p.m., LADWP announced that all customers had power restored.
LADWP spokesman Jospeh Ramallo wrote in a statement Thursday night, “As of 10 p.m. power has been restored to all customers affected by this morning’s outage in Valley Village, Valley Glen, and Studio City. LADWP wishes to thank everyone for their patience and understanding while our crews undertook an extensive repair process at our Distributing Station.”