Outage Causes CA Refinery Evac

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 @ 11:10 AM gHale

A power outage in California’s South Bay area caused a flare-up and an evacuation at a major refinery in Torrance in addition to causing 100,000 consumers to lose power early Tuesday morning, officials said.

Edison officials said power ended up restored to the area.

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Residents in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Torrance, Gardena, Alondra Park, West Athens, Redondo Beach, Hawthorne, Inglewood and Westmont ended up hit by the outage.

Southern California Edison’s website cited more than a dozen separate incidents, all starting around 5:40 a.m., related to the massive outage. The cause of the outage was not immediately available.

Around the same time, a flare-up occurred at the former ExxonMobil refinery, which ended up evacuated and shut down, the Torrance Fire Department captain said the facility lost power around 5:40 a.m. for approximately 20 minutes.

The Torrance Unified School District ended up closed Tuesday due to the flare-up.

Two ambulances were spotted leaving the refinery with lights and sirens on, and one fire truck was seen going into the facility. Some refinery workers were initially told not to come to the facility but were later let back in.

Officials said one person was transported from the refinery, but there were no details on injuries.

Refineries typically respond to outages by burning off product to relieve pressure and ensure gases safely end up combusted.

The city of Torrance sent out a notification, warning area residents to shelter in place, stay indoors, shut all windows and turn off all air-handling systems. The shelter-in-place advisory lifted around 7:30 a.m.