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Old Sacramento Businesses Stuck In The Dark After Downtown SMUD Substation Explosion

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Old Sacramento is still stuck in the dark after a SMUD power substation exploded and caused massive outages across the downtown area Tuesday.

Wednesday afternoon, The Ping Yuen apartments on I Street were still trying to get seniors who live there somewhere warm to sleep.

CBS13 met resident Lonnie, who used his flashlight to get around and tried not to get hurt.

"We're all senior citizens here in this building," he said.

The residents were still without power Wednesday night. The fire caused a widespread outage to homes, government buildings and businesses.

Tuesday night, Lonnie paid for his own hotel to get out of the cold.

"I was confused and I was cold," he said. "Money is hard enough to come by, you know what I'm saying?"

Luis Parz, the owner of El Maya in Old Sacramento, saw the smoke rising above the SMUD substation after the facility caught fire and rushed to his store.

"It was all dark here," he said.

The lights were also still out for almost all of Old Sacramento, but Parz hauled his generator to his store from his home.

He's paying out of pocket and filling up the generator every few hours to keep the doors open and his lights on. But not everyone is as prepared.

Parz says a lot of neighboring businesses there are losing money with each passing hour.

"Especially with the holidays, you have to be open no matter what," he said.

SMUD is expecting power to be fully restored by early Friday morning, but says those without power will be handed a hotel voucher for Wednesday.

The City of Sacramento is not planning on opening up city hall again.

SMUD is also the lead agency on the investigation, so it will be up to them to determine what started the fire.

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