PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

Southern California Edison said bad primary underground power cables were the source of a power outage that initially affected hundreds of homes and businesses in south Palm Springs Tuesday morning.

"It does get a little scary at first," said Laura Ramstead, the general manager of the Del Marcos Hotel.  "At first you think just 20 minutes, but the hour mark goes by, you start to get a little panicky."

According to Ramstead, four hours passed before the hotel's power was restored at about 1:15 p.m.  At the time of the outage, two couples were staying at the hotel.

"I gave them the opportunity to move to another hotel just a couple blocks away, unaffected.  One opted to go up to the tram, and the other opted to just float in the pool," said Ramstead.

The second couple she referred to, Nova and Mark Freels of Rancho Palos Verdes, were lounging poolside a day after the outage.

"We were inside reading and enjoying our morning, our breakfast and the AC went off abruptly, that was a little concerning because it's pretty hot out here," said Nova Freels.

While the Freels used the pool  to beat the heat during the power outage, Ramstead, who has lived in the desert for 25 years, knows all too well how power outages and the extreme heat seem to go hand and hand.

"I do know it happens every year.  It's just a part of living where it's so hot," she said.

SCE said power was restored to all customers by 9:30 p.m.  

The power company couldn't tell us how a big a role the heat played in the underground cables going bad. 

Should you lose your power this summer, SCE suggests you find a cooling center.
It lists the Cathedral Center in Cathedral City as a place to take refuge as well as the Joslyn Cove Community Senior Center in Palm Desert.

Cathedral Center37-171 W. Buddy Rogers Ave.
Cathedral City, CA 92234
1-760-321-1548M-F 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
(Excluding holidays)
Joslyn Cove Community Senior Center73-750 Catalina Way
Palm Desert, CA 92260
1-760-340-3220M-Th 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Fri. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
(Open on holidays)