A Mission Valley YMCA staffer looks into the darkness
  • A Mission Valley YMCA staffer looks into the darkness
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As a precaution, dozens of kids and their parents and coaches were evacuated from the Mission Valley YMCA at around 1:15 Saturday afternoon, October 19, when the electrical power remaining from an earlier partial black-out began to fail.

"It's just a precaution; we don't want people caught in darkness if this continues," said a staff member (who preferred not to be identified).

The staff emptied the building on Friars Road by 1:30 and closed it up.

The initial power failure began at 11:30 a.m., and the staff closed the Y's two swimming pools and two hot tubs as a precaution — leaving the well-attended adult swim lessons, the Different Strokes Swim Team, and kids in the Swim Academy high and dry.

Members and guests continued to use the exercise machines amid flickering lights until around 1 p.m., when a second wave of power failures began. Locker rooms were dimly lit and showers were tepid at best.

San Diego Gas & Electric sent two crews to work on the transformer across Friars Road, but it took more than three hours to restore power. Staff members were called back to work after 5 p.m., and the Y stayed open until 8 p.m.

The blackout disrupted coed team basketball games set for 1 and 2 o'clock, sending six teams home early. All but one team of boys and girls between the ages of seven and nine years old were from the area. One team had come from Ocean View Hills, a neighborhood northeast of where the 805 crosses the 905.

The Mission Valley Y opened for business on Sunday, with full power and regular hours, although problems with the phone system persisted and frustrated callers were directed to call the Toby Wells YMCA.

"You'd think they'd find a way to generate power off the exercise machines," one work-out artist groused. "But I did finish my workout."

Problems with the telephones persisted Monday, with callers getting a message that said the phones have been disconnected. However, staff at the Toby Wells facility (858-496-9622) can transfer calls to the Friar Road location.

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