Yesterday, at about 3:30pm there was a massive power outage in the Southwestern region of the US, including all of San Diego county, parts of Orange and Imperial county, parts of Arizona and New Mexico, as well as parts of Baja California. This power outage left over 6 million people without power.
I was in Downtown San Diego at Horton Plaza for a meeting when the power went out. We thought it was just a minor blackout at the mall, but we soon realized that it spread to all over the county. There were sirens blaring in the distance, which wasn’t a good sign. We were told to evacuate, which we did. Since Horton Plaza in the middle of Downtown, I was parking in a multi-level garage. I found an exit and was waiting in line for probably 30-40 minutes. The people ahead of me had the bright idea of having everyone backup, find parking and just chill at the mall until traffic dies down. We did, but fortunately the parking garage has several exits. I ended up finding a way out and was able to make my way home quickly.
It was an odd experience at home. We lit candles and broke out the flashlights and the one battery powered radio we had. It was unusual. But it was enlightening. We realized we weren’t prepared for such emergencies. Cooking was relegated to our gas stove cooktop. Probably not ideal or safe, really. But it did the job. It was a bacon and eggs sort of night. A lot of food had to be thrown out though. All dairy products, any leftovers, anything that wasn’t stuck in the freezer before it got warmer inside. All gone.
Fortunately, the power did manage to come back at my house at 9:50pm. So it was about a 6 hour outage. Not terrible, but not something I’d like to experience again without being more prepared for.