Lightning Strikes Chevron Oil Refinery in El Segundo, Causing Power Outage: Police

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Lightning struck a Chevron oil refinery in El Segundo, causing an hours-long power outage Thursday, the El Segundo Police Department said. Because of the outage, several safety flares went up and were visible to residents in nearby neighborhoods intermittently throughout the day. There was no threat to neighboring communities, according to the El Segundo Fire Department. As part of safety procedures, oil refineries use flares to burn excess hydrocarbon gases that can’t be recovered or recycled. The flares create a small flame, smoke and a rumbling noise that can be mistaken for a fire. Safety systems at the refinery were operational and working normally, according to police. No injuries were reported. The El Segundo Fire Department was working at the scene with the Chevron Fire Department to assess the incident. Southern California’s air quality management district was at the scene monitoring air quality compliance. Power had been restored to the infrastructure in the refinery as of 2:00 p.m., Chevron El Segundo said in a written statement. There were reports that the outage was caused by lightning striking an electrical line. A powerful storm moved through Southern California Thursday, producing thunder and lightning and prompting several closures and evacuations throughout the county. The Los Angeles Weather Service advised residents to stay indoors when possible during the storm.

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