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Some in Ramona Enjoyed the Outage Last Week

Residents barbecued, students enjoyed a day off school, and many people ate breakfast out Friday.

was busy Friday morning and through lunchtime, owner Sonja Steiner said.

"The kids were out of school," she explained. Families were there enjoying their time together. Steiner said she closed early on Thursday and managed to keep all her food intact through the regional power outage which left five million people from Baja California to Orange County and Yuma without power Thursday night.

San Diego county's public school students are back to school Monday
for the first time since the outage. All public schools in the county were closed Friday.

The boil-water alerts issued for much of the county following the outage are no longer in effect.

School students weren't the only ones to take advantage of a little "down time" off the grid. Many readers told Patch that they actually enjoyed the peace and quiet without so many lights, noise and technological gadgets.

"If you took it in stride, it was a nice change of pace," Craig Jung, executive director of told Patch. Jung said he put a few oil lamps around his house and relaxed with his dogs while his wife was out of town on business. He said he cleaned up his lamps and put them in important rooms in the house before darkness fell. Then he barbecued.

"I got the butane stove out to cook what wasn't going on the grill. I had the "smart phone" for communication and was in bed by 10 p.m.," Jung said.

Patch freelance writer Karen Carlson described her power outage experience:

"With grocery and most other stores closed...ice and (drinking) water were at a premium and hard to get. There were cash-only sales at any place that had any to sell. We bought ice from some guy out of the back of his truck and paid him three times the regular going rate.

"Everyone was calling everyone else to see if generators could be borrowed—we had four people call us to borrow a generator within 30 minutes," Carlson said. "We barbecued, invited friends over and swam in the pool. I didn't see any panic.

Carlson said her family drove into town to check on friends who own a local restaurant.

"They had a generator to keep the freezers and fridge going. It was so dark, it was weird. While we were in the alleyway at the back of the restaurant, (law enforcement) drove by...to ensure the safety of the businesses."

Carlson said the Sheriff's deputies "were all over the place" shining lights in businesses. "It was nice to feel protected."

Woody Kirkman, owner of on Main Street, said his company helped about a dozen people with lanterns on Thursday night. The business stayed open until about 9 p.m.

"Driving through town, all seemed very calm," Kirkman said.

On the Ramona Patch page on Facebook, one reader commented about the night without power: "Nothing like curling up in the comfort of your motorhome, while enjoying a nice California evening."

Children from all over San Diego county called in to KOGO Radio on Thursday night to announce happily—and live on the air—that their school day on Friday was cancelled.

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