SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - As the day was beginning for many businesses and residents in Santa Barbara the lights went out in downtown.
A vault located on Canon Perdido St. in a parking lot blew about 10 a.m.
Businesses and homes went into the dark. Fire crews scrambled to rescue people stuck in elevators, and respond to alarms going off.
"I don't know if we can open. We don't have exhaust, we don't have lights, we have candles," said Karen Fitts from The Palace restaurant who was getting set for the lunch crowd.
Fortunately the power came back up in many blocks about an hour after the outage occurred.
Some drivers and pedestrians were caught up in the confusion when signal lights went out and too many vehicles were trying to enter an intersection at once.
Businesses that could operate without power to make transactions at their register, like Cost Plus continued to welcome customers, in what was a dimly lit store.
"Silver and...." owner Roger McCririck was able to show his products but he could not work his register or take credit cards until the circuit was restored.
Southern California Edison said about 1500 residents and businesses were impacted.
Crews will be working on the vault until about midnight.