Power out in HollywoodHollywood Power Outage Sends City Into Chaos
No electricity for 26 minutes. "This is our Tsunami."
By Joshua Gates
LOS ANGELES, CA, September 12, 2005 - Horror and disbelief swept
through the greater Hollywood area this afternoon as a minor
power-outage turned the city into a virtual war zone and local
residents struggled to deal with the devastating aftermath.
The outage struck at 1:35 PM, during L.A.'s busy afternoon coffee and Pilates rush hour. Traffic lights fell dark, local gyms and sushi restaurants were without power for nearly 30 minutes and many businesses were illuminated only by the light of the sun and its blistering 78 degree heat. "It was horrible," said out of work actor and voice-over artist Rick Shea. "I was in a Jamba Juice on Melrose when it hit and the blenders simply shut down. A woman lunged for my Berry Lime Sublime an after that, well, it got pretty ugly."
In the ensuing panic, local radio stations broadcasted conflicting reports as to exactly which local businesses would be offering relief supplies. Almost 100 people flocked to the Starbucks at Santa Monica and La Brea only to find helpless baristas, no hot coffee and a totally meager selection of baked goods.
"My mother is 83 years old and we heard on the radio that this
Starbucks was going to be up and running. If she doesn't get a venti Arabian Mocha Sanani, I don't know what's going to happen to her, I really don't." Said Lucinda Merino of Los Feliz. To make matters worse, those few people who did man age to get coffee were further thwarted by a total lack of artificial sweeteners on site.
"Sugar in the Raw? Are you frigging kidding me?" sobbed avid salsa
dancer, Enrique Santoro. "I'm on the South Beach Diet and my insulin levels are going to go crazy if I use this. Why isn't the rest of the country doing something?"
Deteriorating conditions will force authorities to evacuate the
thousands of people at local Quiznos, movie theaters and upscale
shopping centers, including the The Beverly Center, where a
policeman told CNN unrest was escalating. The officer expressed
concern that the situation could worsen overnight after patrons
defaced multiple "So You Think you Can Dance" posters, looted a Baby Gap and demanded free makeovers en masse at a MAC cosmetics store during the afternoon.
At least 2,000 refugees, a majority of them beautiful, will travel in a! bus convoy to Beverly Hills starting this evening and will be sheltered at the 8-year-old Spago on North Canon where soft omelettes with confit bacon and Hudson Valley foie gras was being airlifted in by The National Guard.
Honorary Mayor of Hollywood Johnny Grant told a group of embedded reporters at a Koo Koo Roo Chicken restaurant on Larchmont that, "The scope and scale of this disaster is almost too much to comprehend. Local carwashes are at a stand-still, the tram tour at Universal Studios has been on hold for almost an hour now and I've been waiting for a rotisserie leg and thigh with a side of green beans for upwards of 15 minutes. This truly is our Tsunami."
"We want to accommodate those people suffering in the Beverly
Center as quickly as possible for the simple reason they have been
through a horrible ordeal," Grant said.
"We need water. We need eda mame. We need low-carb bread," said Martha Owens, 49 who was one of the thousands trapped in the Beverly Center when the escalators stopped moving. "They need to start sending somebody through here."
Along miles of coastline, the power simply surged, causing writers to lose upwards of a page of original screenplay material, causing Direct TV service to work only intermittently and forcing local residents to walk outside and look helplessly at the Pacific from their ocean view decks. "I can hardly begin to put this experience into words," said longtime Two and a Half Men writer John Edlestein. "I was just getting into my rhythm and making some real headway on a scene where Charlie Sheen parties with a busload of female volleyball players when my Power Book crapped out. I have nothing. Simply, nothing."
Delivering his weekly radio address live from the White House,
President Bush announced he was deploying more than 7,000 additional active-duty troops to the region. He comforted victims and praised relief workers.
"But despite their best efforts, the magnitude of responding to a crisis over a disaster area this sunny and trendy has
created tremendous problems," he said. "The result is that many of
our citizens simply are not getting the help they need, especially in the Hollywood Hills, and that is unacceptable."