Underground fire causes manhole covers to pop in Long Beach

Smoke coming out of a manhole in Long Beach on Wednesday, July 15, 2015.
Smoke coming out of a manhole in Long Beach on Wednesday, July 15, 2015.

An electrical fire in downtown Long Beach caused manhole covers to blow off and prompted large-scale outages in the area, according to an alert from the Long Beach Police Department.

CBS reports the underground started near 3rd Street and Chestnut Avenue. 

Police had advised citizens to stay inside to avoid falling debris from the covers, but an update has since said there's no more threat of manhole covers popping off.

Around 4,000 Long Beach customers have been without power since 3 p.m., Southern California Edison stated on its website. Crews are at the scene.

Areas in downtown Long Beach, between Daisy Avenue and Cedar Avenue and from Ocean Boulevard to 5th Street, have lost power, according to an alert. A portion of 3rd Street was closed so  that crews could work on repairs. Police advised drivers to find an alternate route to get on the 710 Freeway.

Tweet: SCE

SoCal Edison has posted a few consumer tips for dealing with power outages: 

  • When power is out, traffic signals may be out so approach those intersections as four-way stops.
  • Make sure you have a battery-operated radio and flashlights. Check the batteries to make sure they’re fresh. Use flashlights for lighting during a power outage. Do not use candles because they pose a significant fire hazard.
  • If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into it, using heavy-duty extension cords. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews.

This story has been updated.