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SDG&E Admits False Alarm: No Major Power Outage in Oceanside Area

Utility's online power outage map wrongly showed more than 4,200 customers lacked electricity.

Updated at 10:10 p.m. Oct. 20, 2012

A San Diego Gas & Electric spokesman Saturday said the utility’s website inaccurately reported that more than 4,200 SDG&E customers in parts of Oceanside and Vista had lost power.

No outage actually occurred, the utility said.

Camp Pendleton Patch posted a breaking news bulletin about the supposed outage.

La Mesa-Mount Helix Patch also reported an outage affecting 2,400 customers in the Spring Valley and La Presa areas. But that one—which also hit Paradise Hills and Skyline in San Diego—lasted only a half a minute, SDG&E spokesman Hanan Eisenman told Patch.

SDG&E reported on its outage map that 4,283 customers in the Oceanside,
Ocean Hills and San Luis Rey areas along with some in Vista lost electricity at
12:09 p.m and that power was expected to be restored around 2:40.

City News Service, which supplies information to several San Diego broadcast outlets as well at Patch, reported the outlet twice before 2 p.m., quoting SDG&E’s map and saying: “The specific cause of the outage was under investigation, but crews who were working to make repairs expected to have power restored around 2:40 p.m., according to SDG&E.”

SDG&E’s Eisenman told City News Service that “for some reason the map was displaying an outage—some inaccurate information.”

He said SDG&E was looking into the cause of the discrepancy and would update the online map, which also has a user explainer.

The map showed no outages as of 5:40 p.m. Saturday.

Beneath the map is a 164-word disclaimer that says in part:

The outage data posted on this web site is based on estimates and projections, and no representation is made that the posted materials are comprehensive or free from error.  ... Although SDG&E will use its reasonable efforts to post the best data that is readily available, SDG&E has no responsibility or liability for any error, omission or delay in connection with any data posted. 

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