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Tehachapi businesses closed due to unexpected public safety power shutoff

Posted at 1:38 PM, Oct 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-29 01:16:44-04

TEHACHAPI, Calif. — A sudden and unexpected power outage in Tehachapi closed down hundreds of businesses and frustrated city officials on Monday afternoon. Southern California Edison flipped the switch at about 11:30 a.m. affecting the northern part of the city.

The power is back on but SoCal Edison did not give advanced notice about the shutoff. Walmart is still closed because all employees were told to go home. Several other businesses in the area remain closed with signs posted on their doors.

"We've got medical groups that had to send their vaccinations and medical supplies that are required to be refrigerated, they had to send them back down to Bakersfield and the antelope valley to other facilities to hold them for them so they wouldn't spoil," said Key Budge, Community Relations Specialist for the City of Tehachapi.

The outage affected about 3,500 residents and 200 businesses.

"These are impacting now businesses, so this has a greater range than just within the city. All the surrounding communities that come to get their groceries, they come in to Walmart, they're all closed," Budge said.

The Tehachapi Walmart turned people away for much of the afternoon. Many other businesses in the area had papers hanging in the window saying that they're closed.

When asked to comment, a representative from SoCal Edison said that "sometimes the weather conditions change so rapidly that they make a decision to cut power without warning. "