A huge blackout left 5 million in the dark on Thursday, with officials warning that residents may not have service for a day or more. The blackout affected power in parts of California, Arizona and Mexico, and is said to have been triggered by a major employee error. Hospitals in San Diego were able to successfully switch to backup power, but many others were left literally in the dark, as city street lights quit, bringing traffic to a standstill. About 70 people were in elevators at the time of the outage, and had to be rescued by the fire department, and San Diego schools were ordered closed until Monday.
Officials stated that the causes of the outage, both by human error and system failure, would be addressed. Meanwhile, they urged customers to conserve energy. Residents of San Diego made the most of the outage, with many families throwing impromptu barbecue parties in their yards.