Thousands without power in Southern California amid extreme heat wave

West

LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — Los Angeles power outages are affecting tens of thousands of customers Monday as an extreme heat wave continued to put strain on the state’s electrical grid.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power reported that 45,000 customers remained without power, as of Monday at 6 a.m. (CT). Officials said the service disruptions were triggered by record-breaking heat that prompted an increase in electricity use and caused distribution equipment to overheat, NewsNation affiliate KTLA reported.

Nearly 150,000 customers were without power at some point Friday, and outages still affected 70,000 by Sunday night. But LADWP said crews made significant progress on heat storm restoration work by Monday morning.

The California Independent System Operator, which manages most of the state’s electrical grid, issued an alert calling for reduced electricity use from Saturday through Monday. The agency warned of potential rolling blackouts if residents didn’t conserve power over Labor Day weekend.

Temperatures are expected to cool slightly from Sunday, when Los Angeles County reached a record 121 degrees in Woodland Hills. El Centro, California, more than 110 miles east of San Diego, also reached a record 121 degrees over the weekend.

Pacific Gas & Electric, the state’s largest utility, warned customers that it might cut power early this week because of expected high winds and heat that could create even greater fire danger. Some of the state’s largest and deadliest fires in recent years have been sparked by downed power lines and other utility equipment.

Across California, dozens of fires burned over the holiday weekend, and more than 200 were rescued by military helicopters after being trapped in a camping area at the Sierra National Forest. Blazes that broke out in Southern California forced evacuations in San Diego and San Bernardino counties.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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