John Wayne Airport resumed all commercial flights Saturday, ending a full operational stop due to a power outage that affected more than 28,000 Southern California Edison customers at its peak.
Airport officials said the flights resumed at about 6:30 a.m.
The outage was reported just after 7 p.m. Friday at the airport in an unincorporated area of Orange County surrounded by Irvine, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, and prompted all inbound commercial flights to be diverted and all outbound flights canceled.
Airport officials tweeted at 9 p.m. Friday that “All Terminal power slowly coming back online. General Aviation flights unaffected and Air Traffic Control Tower is open. The full operational stop is in effect until 7 a.m. (today). For flights departing (today), please check with your airline for more information.”
At the height of the outage, 28,028 SCE customers, mostly in Irvine and Newport Beach, were affected, according to SCE’s Lois Pitter Bruce. As of 11:30 a.m., 11,900 customers were offline — an increase from the 8 a.m. update, which reported 10,500 customers out of power, said SCE spokesperson Mary Ann Milbourn.
“The last estimate was wrong and we corrected it,” Milbourn said.
“We’re working on multiple engineering solutions to resolve this incident, including ways to reduce the size of the outage,” she said. “We can’t project a restoration time at this time. Some customers may be out several days. We’re continuing to assess damage. We’re asking other customers in the area to reduce and conserve as much as they can.”
The cause of the outage was a substation fire that forced it to be de-energized. The fire has been extinguished, Pitter Bruce said. No injuries were reported.
“I urge residents who have power to conserve energy as Southern California Edison works to resolve this issue,” said Irvine Mayor Christina Shea.
The Orange County Fire Authority tweeted that the vault fire was near Jamboree Road and Michelson Drive.
Irvine City Councilman Anthony Kuo tweeted that about 100 residents from an apartment building on Palatine were temporarily evacuated due to smoke.
A care and reception center was set up at Northwood High School in Irvine and was available as a cooling center for those who need shelter, according to the Irvine Police Department. All city of Irvine facilities are designated cooling centers, and residents can go to cityofirvine.org for details on hours and locations.
Residents were urged to exercise caution during the outage by using flashlights and treating all intersections as four-way stops, Pitter Bruce said.
Some intersections in Irvine were affected by the outage, Irvine police reported.
“I am closely monitoring the situation with the power outage. I have been in contact with Police Chief Mike Hamel and other key staff,” Shea said. “The City Council will provide whatever support is needed to our public safety officials.”
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