updated 9/9/2011 8:37:10 AM ET 2011-09-09T12:37:10

The penguins, polar bears and walruses at San Diego's SeaWorld will be staying cool during an outage that has affected millions of people in Southern California, Arizona and Mexico.

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Story: Feds launch probe of Southwest power outage

SeaWorld spokeswoman Kelly Terry says the amusement park that allows visitors to see marine life up close runs on its own generators.

Park-goers were allowed to stay after power was lost at around 3:30 p.m. They were treated to a special performance by Shamu in the early evening.

Terry says some park-goers who thought they didn't have enough gas to drive home were allowed to hang out in SeaWorld's parking lot to wait out traffic.

At Legoland, spokeswoman Julie Estrada says a few riders were trapped after rides lost power, but were safely removed.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Worker blamed as millions lose power

  1. Closed captioning of: Worker blamed as millions lose power

    >>> an employee at a power substation is the likely cause of a massive power outage that has effected millions of people in california, arizona , and mexico. an event that led most of san diego powerless. nbc's george lewis is there this morning. george, good morning.

    >> good morning, ann. some of the lights are on behind me but not all of them. officials of the local power utility say it will be later today before most of the electricity is restored. as the blackouts spread, fire and police personnel were put on full emergency alert. fire crews had to free some people trapped in elevators. with traffic signals knocked out many southern california streets were grade locked. there were huge lines of a few service stations still able to pump gas. the power outage extending from yuma, arizona , all of the way to the california coast and even into mexico.

    >> this is a major system disturban disturbance. and customers will have to be patient and really put safety first.

    >> reporter: the nuclear power station shut down automatically as a safety precaution and remains off line this morning. what caused the blackout? apparently a technician replacing some faulty equipment on a high voltage transmission line did something wrong.

    >> the initial instance of this looks like an operator error that happened in arizona and that started the series of events.

    >> reporter: some southern californians turned the crisis into a party. in downtown san diego they fatherdp gathered in an area known as a gas lamp quarter.

    >> you have to pull yourself together and think it could be worse than this.

    >> reporter: now, on a serious note this shows how vulnerable the power grid is. much of san diego is getting back to normal. schools will be closed but the airport and most businesses will be open. ann?

    >> george lewis this morning. george, thank.

    >>> coming up, could yale university

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