Biz Owner: Someone Needs to Take Blame for Blackout

San Diego restaurant owner wants an apology from someone for the blackout that cost him thousands of dollars

Power Outage

One thing is certain it was not the act of one utility worker in Arizona that caused the Sept. 8 power outage according to the panel of experts that met Wednesday in San Diego.

Utility company representatives point to at least 20 events that occurred over an 11 minute period as the source of the blackout that left 7 million residents without power across the Southwest U.S. and part of Mexico.

Donald Robinson, president and chief operating officer of Arizona Public Service Co., said it was wrong to pin the blame solely on a utility worker at his company's substation.

"There are still many things we do not know that happened on those days," he said.

The lack of answers frustrated one San Diego restaurant owner.

“Nobody's willing to accept the responsibility,” said Michael Lou of Dragon’s Den.

“They keep trying to pass the guilt on to someone else or pointing fingers at somebody else.”

The National University System Institute for Policy Research has estimated the outage cost the San Diego-area economy more than $100 million.

The Dragon’s Den in the East Village lost thousands of dollars in business on top of problems with a pump that lost power.

Lou wants an apology from someone.

“You've done wrong, then admit it, say sorry, ask for forgiveness and move forward,” he said.

The panel of expert discussed their findings for four hours.

“I think as long as you have human error and equipment failure, these incidents are probably not avoidable. The question we want to do is minimize the time people are without power,” said Assembly Member Steven Bradford/Chairman, Committee on Utilities and Commerce.

Two San Diego men have filed a class action lawsuit against Arizona Public Service and San Diego Gas & Electric claiming the companies negligently operated their power plants causing a power failure which caused the plaintiffs food and other perishable items to be destroyed.

The utility companies involved, under ISO's direction, have formed a voluntary joint task force to investigate. It could take up to a year before they find the exact cause.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electric Reliabilty Corp. also have opened a joint inquiry into the outage. 

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Copyright AP - Associated Press
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