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Power Outages Hit Parts Of Washington, D.C., Including The White House

Visitors to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum wait for it to reopen after widespread power outages caused many of the buildings along the National Mall in Washington to shut down temporarily on Tuesday.
Visitors to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum wait for it to reopen after widespread power outages caused many of the buildings along the National Mall in Washington to shut down temporarily on Tuesday.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

Large portions of Washington, D.C., were hit by power outages Tuesday, momentarily plunging the White House and other buildings into darkness.

The Pepco utility company says the culprit was a transmission line in southern Maryland that caused "a dip in voltage" shortly before 1 p.m. ET. The power company says there was never a loss of permanent supply of electricity, but the situation caused some customers to move to their backup systems, which is what caused the dip in voltage.

Pepco says there are no current supply problems.

The outages affected commercial, residential and federal buildings across the nation's capital. The Smithsonian said it had evacuated several of its museums because of the outages. Many, but not all, switched to backup power.

Power at the State Department was out for more than 90 minutes. NPR's Michele Kelemen says reporters were being briefed on the situations in Yemen and Cuba, when the power went out. State Department spokesperson, Marie Harf, decided to continue with the daily briefing despite the darkness.

Reuters reports the White House has resumed regular power source. White House spokesman, Josh Earnest said he was not aware that President Obama was affected in any way. Earnest said he was in a meeting with the president at the time power was disrupted and that he didn't know anything about it until he walked out of the meeting.

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