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Long Beach power outage: Vault explosion knocks out power to thousands

Another vault explosion and subsequent power outage left an estimated 30,000 people without power on Thursday, July 30, 2015.
Another vault explosion and subsequent power outage left an estimated 30,000 people without power on Thursday, July 30, 2015.
Courtesy City of Long Beach Twitter account

Another vault explosion has knocked out power for some Long Beach residents, Long Beach Police officials said Thursday.

Update 8:03 p.m.: Power restored to most

The city says it has restored power to over two-thirds of those affected by Thursday's outage.

In a tweet posted late Thursday afternoon, the city said about 7,500 were still without power. It also  cautioned drivers to be careful in areas that are using generators to power some traffic signals.

Tweet: Power to some traffic signals restored

Update 6:57 p.m.: 30,000 without power; reports of manhole eruptions

Southern California Edison spokeswoman Susan Cox says 30,000 customers are impacted by Thursday's power outage. She says necessary repairs will mean customers will be without power through the evening and into Friday. The outage appears similar to an outage that took place two weeks ago.

Terriell Currington is among those without power. He lives near Eighth and Atlantic. He says he heard an explosion Thursday around 4:30 p.m.

"I heard a loud booming noise, something that sounded like a bomb went off. It was too loud to be a car wreck, so I knew it was something else so, but I didn't really know what it was," Currington told KPCC.  "The power went out before I heard the boom, actually."

He said his power went out for about 15 minutes the last time the power went out in Long Beach. 

"It happened twice. It's a serious problem," Currington said.

Fire crews, police and Southern California Edison were on the scene trying to find out more about what caused the outage. 

"They are tackling it and tackling it quickly," said Kerry Gerot, spokesperson for the city of Long Beach. The city released an image showing the areas affected by the outage, encouraging residents to stay away from the area if possible:

Gerot said that affected residents and travelers should be cautious and avoid elevators. Police said to stay away from the area from 7th Street to Anaheim Street, as well as Pine Street to Locust Avenue.

"Please be courteous and take all precautions," Gerot said.

An image posted on Instagram purported to show a manhole cover shooting from the street Thursday afternoon shortly after the outage: 

Video: Manhole cover explodes

Thousands were without power a couple of weeks ago when another vault explosion caused widespread power outages in downtown Long Beach, leading to similar scenes of manhole covers bursting from the pressure.

This story has been updated.