Crews Work to Restore Power to L.A. Residents As Heat Wave Continues

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The heat wave that has been baking Southland for nearly a week will continue through at least Saturday, with forecasters continuing to warn today of potentially record-breaking temperatures.

``The combination of strong high pressure and weak onshore flow will continue to produce dangerously high temperatures across the region through at least Saturday,'' according to the National Weather Service.

Previously, forecasters had said the high heat would afflict the region through Friday.

``The highest daytime temperatures are expected across the Antelope Valley, in lower mountain elevations and inland valleys, where temperatures will rise to between 100 and 112 each day,'' according to the NWS. ``It will remain quite warm at night, and temperatures will likely not drop below the mid- 70s in many inland areas. Temperatures in some foothill and mountain locations may remain in lower to mid-80s each night.''

While valley areas will experience the highest temperatures, even the coast will be basking in the heat, with Friday expected to be the warmest day. Highs at the beaches are expected in the 80s to mid-90s, while temperatures will range between 95 and 105 degrees at locations a few miles inland, forecasters said.

The San Fernando, Santa Clarita, San Gabriel and Antelope valleys and lower elevations in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains will see highs ranging from 100 to 112, NWS forecasters said, and overnight lows will not drop below the mid 70s.

``Some cooling is expected Saturday, but temperatures will still be well above normal and all the current advisories and warnings will continue through at least Saturday evening,'' according to the NWS statement.

An excessive heat warning will remain in effect until 10 p.m. Saturday along the coast, in beach cities, in metropolitan Los Angeles and the Hollywood Hills. The warning will also be in effect in the Antelope Valley, Los Angeles County and Santa Monica mountains and the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita valleys.

Forecasters again urged caution in response to conditions, including avoiding strenuous work in high heat and drinking plenty of water.

Also, ``never, ever leave people or pets in enclosed vehicles, even for a short period of time,'' warned an NWS statement, noting interior vehicle temperatures can rapidly rise to lethal levels.

Complicating matters for many residents trying to keep cool was the lack of electricity. Crews were working to restore power to more than 11,000 customers in the Los Angeles area.

The Department of Water and Power had about 8,300 customers in South Los Angeles and more than 1,000 in the San Fernando Valley customers without power, and crews were working to repair overloaded equipment in Arleta.

Southern California Edison also reported outages affecting more than 1,400 of their customers in Los Angeles County, plus more than 1,500 in Riverside County.

The NWS forecast partly cloudy skies in L.A. County and highs of 84 in Avalon; 87 at LAX; 94 on Mount Wilson; 96 in Long Beach; 98 in San Gabriel; 100 in downtown L.A. and Pasadena; 105 in Burbank; 107 in Palmdale; 108 in Lancaster; 110 in Saugus; and 112 in Woodland Hills. A slight cooldown will get underway Sunday, but only in some communities.

Partly cloudy skies were also expected in Orange County today, along with highs of 75 in Laguna Beach; 80 in San Clemente; 97 in Irvine; 99 in Anaheim and Mission Viejo; 101 in Fullerton; and 102 in Yorba Linda. A cooling trend will begin Saturday.

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