A Santa Monica police traffic officer directs traffic at the corner of Fourth Street and Broadway during a Downtown power outage on Thursday. (photo by Daniel Archuleta)

DOWNTOWN — Hundreds of residences and businesses were without power and several traffic lights were down Thursday because of an outage that struck Downtown around 1 p.m., officials said.

Crews with Southern California Edison were able to restore the power roughly two hours later. Workers on the scene said that a construction crew working in the alley between the Third Street Promenade and Fourth Street at Santa Monica Boulevard caused the outage when equipment damaged a subterranean power line.

Traffic was backed up on several streets in the bustling Downtown district while the outage was addressed.

Santa Monica firefighters told the Daily Press that three people were trapped in an elevator at Nordstrom at Santa Monica Place. They were freed around 2:30 p.m.

Officials with Edison said that nearly 800 customers were without power.

kevinh@www.smdp.com

Managing Editor Daniel Archuleta contributed to this report.

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