Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Larchmont Powerless in Friday Storm

Fallen pine tree on the 400 block of S. June Street. No one was injured in the incident.

A major rainstorm yesterday left many parts of our neighborhood – including the portion of the Larchmont Village business district south of Beverly Blvd. – without power for as long as 12 hours on Friday afternoon and evening.  Most (if not all) businesses on Larchmont lost power around noon, and while some closed fairly soon after that, others – such as Village Pizzeria – tried to stay open for a few hours, but wound up throwing in the towel later, on what normally would have been their busiest day of the week.

Streetlight out on Larchmont Blvd. Photo by Eileen Lanza.

Steve Cohen, owner of Village Pizzeria, said it was an “expensive” and “horrible day,” and that his business, along with the sushi and Greek restaurants in the same block, kept going until 5:30 p.m., hoping power would be restored before the busy dinner hours.  But they finally had to give up.  “We were assured and guaranteed by the DWP line specialists who were working on updating and replacing old lines, poles and transformers over the past 6 months,” said Cohen, “that power outages would not happen as frequently as they have (previously) in our area…oh well , guess they were wrong!”

Neighbors in nearby areas, including Windsor Square, St. Andrews Square, Fremont Place and Brookside also lost power for much of the day, starting at various times between noon and 3 p.m. and lasting, in some cases, until around 1 a.m.

Patricia Carroll, who lives in St. Andrews Square, said she went to the Wilshire Country Club for dinner, which was doing a brisk business with so many other local restaurants closed. And the staff seemed good-naturedly aware of the reason for influx — Carroll reports she was greeted with the question, “Power out?”

Luckily, Hancock Park, where the Country Club is located, seems to have escaped the worst of the outages.  Deborah Brooks, who lives on McCadden Place, said the neighborhood “used to lose power every rainstorm,” but the LADWP has moved much of the wiring underground in the area…and “I guess that saved us!” But not entirely.  Neighbors have reported that the east side of the 500 block of S. Rossmore was dark from about 3 p.m. to 1:15 a.m…and the the traffic signal at 6th and Rossmore was also out.

The storm’s high winds, though, did topple a large pine tree in Hancock Park, which fell onto a parked car near 4th and June (at the same address where another tree fell in 2015).

The Rio del Jardin de las Flores, as it flows through Brookside, is very full these days. Photo by Laura Cohen.

Brookside also lost power for most of the day/night, and its eponymous stream swelled with the storm’s runoff.  Creek-side resident Laura Cohen said the current water levels are “the highest the stream has been since I moved here, 24 years ago this month. And it rained 10 days straight then – this is just a few hours’ worth. Plus I’ve had to clear the storm drain twice in 2 hours.”  There was a payoff to the task, however:  Cohen spied an egret on her soggy mission, which “made it worthwhile.”

Business seems to be back to usual this morning on Larchmont, with area residents and shoppers emerging from yesterday’s storm-forced hibernation and once again filling the street with their morning coffee and bagel runs.  But yesterday was a much different story, as you can see in this video, shared with us by reader Eileen Lanza, who strolled the street not long after the power went out on Friday:

[Buzz Co-Publisher Patricia Lombard contributed to the research for this story.]

[Note:  this story was updated to include details of the Hancock Park outages.]

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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.

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