Dude, Where's the Power?

As many as 40,000 Southern California Edison customers lost power this afternoon in several communities, including Malibu, where traffic along Pacific Coast Highway ground to a halt as a result.

The outage started at 3:42 p.m. and affected Malibu, Agoura, Westlake Village, Calabasas and portions of Ventura County, said Paul Klein of SCE.

The power failure was caused by an equipment malfunction in a substation in Ventura County, he said.

By 4:15 p.m., electricity had been restored to all but about 5,000 customers, with full power expected by 5 p.m., he said.

The Malibu Civic Center and Pepperdine University were affected by the outages, according to broadcast reports.

Lt. Scott Chew of the Malibu-Lost Hills Sheriff's Station, where power was also lost, said the outages were "causing lots of traffic problems" on PCH and other surface streets.

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