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Power returns to most of Ariz., Calif.

Associated Press / September 10, 2011

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SAN DIEGO - Utility crews brought electricity back to much of California, Arizona, and Mexico yesterday, a day after a power outage left millions in the dark, paralyzed freeways, and halted flights at San Diego’s airport.

Officials, however, warned that the electrical grid was still too fragile after the outage and asked residents and businesses to go easy on - or even put off using - major appliances, such as air conditioners.

“Conservation will really help reduce the strain,’’ said Stephanie McCorkle at the California Independent System Operator, which manages the power grid.

A decade after California faced rolling blackouts that shut down everything from ATMs to traffic signals, Thursday’s outage raised anew questions about the condition of the nation’s electricity grid.

Authorities were focused on trying to figure out how a mistake by a Arizona Public Service Co. worker making a repair in Yuma, Ariz., could cascade across the Southwest.

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