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Southland scorched by triple-digit temperatures as officials again ask for power conservation

Southern Californians were asked again to conserve energy Wednesday as the state continued to be battered by triple-digit temperatures.

However, the conservation effort was believed to be the last one asked of the state as energy loads were projected to taper off over the next few days as temperatures slowly trend downward, officials said.

“As I speak right now, absent the loss of any big units of transmission lines, we do not expect any load disruptions,” said Steve Berberich, president and CEO of California Independent System Operator. “We’re counting on those conservation measures for me to be able to say that.”

Conservation efforts by residents Monday and Tuesday were “the only reason we were able to get through those days without any disruptions,” Berberich said.

Strong demand for power between 2 and 3 p.m. Tuesday led officials to ask that residents start conserving power an hour earlier Wednesday in order to avoid blackouts. Residents were asked to keep thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, unplug unused electrical devices, close blinds and drapes, use fans the time refrigerator doors are open.

Still, some were without power for most of the day Wednesday, including some 6,600 in the West Hills area as distribution equipment was overloaded by demand Tuesday evening, officials with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said. Other affected areas included Koreatown, Studio City, Van Nuys and Valley Village, officials said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, during a Wednesday press conference, said Wednesday’s conservation efforts were believed to be the last needed by Californians during the heat wave, as projections for energy consumption were declining by 2,000 megawatts both Thursday and Friday.

Temperatures didn’t quite match the record-breaking numbers seen Tuesday, but several areas reached upwards of 100 degrees Wednesday, weather experts said.

Scorching temperatures were again felt in Los Angeles County valleys and the Inland Empire. San Bernardino hit 109 degrees, while Palmdale and Chatsworth reached 108 degrees and Hemet hit 106, meteorologists said.

Slightly cooler temperatures were felt in Orange County, where Anaheim saw a high of 94 degrees and Santa Ana saw 92, said Rose Schoenfeld, meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s San Diego office.

Of those temperatures, only Anaheim was close to tying its record of 96 degrees, Schoenfeld said.

Flash-flood warnings went into effect during the early afternoon as areas around Mount Baldy and the eastern San Gabriel Mountains experienced quick, hard rainfall.

“That’s the nature of these things,” meteorologist Miguel Miller said,” they come up quickly with torrential rain for 10 to 15 minutes and then collapse really fast.”

Not much was going to change Thursday and an excessive heat warning was to remain in effect until 8 p.m. in parts of Los Angeles County, forecasters said. The warning was in effect until 10 p.m. in inland Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains, according to the NWS.

The Southland was expected to begin getting a respite from the heat starting Friday, as temperatures start to decline gradually, said David Sweet of the weather service’s Oxnard office.

“Starting Friday it will start to taper off and Saturday it will lessen more significantly, but it will pick up again next week,” Schoenfeld said.

Source: Orange County Register

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