Heat Wave Causing Power Outages in L.A. County

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Record-breaking heat overwhelmed some Los Angeles Department of Water and Power equipment today, leaving more that 32,000 customers blacked out. 

As of 3 p.m., 32,800 of the utility's 1.5 million customers were without power. Another 14,500 residential and business customers that had lost power had it restored. 

Because of the high number of outages, the estimated time for restoration of power ranges from 12 to 24 hours, the LADWP reported. The most affected areas include Westlake with 6,000 customers losing power, Koreatown with 3,100 customers and Beverly Grove with 2,000 customers blacked out. In the San Fernando Valley area, most of Tarzana's 1,600 customers have had their power restored. About 1,550 of Encino's 3,100 customers had power restored and Sherman Oaks has seen 1,500 customers lose power, according to the LADWP. 

Outside L.A. city limits, Southern California Edison also reported power outages related to temperatures that hovered over 110 degrees in some places. A total of 9,139 customers had lost power in L.A. County, said SCE spokeswoman Caroline Aoyagi. Over the entire SCE customer base, Aoyagi said that more 21,000 customers were blacked out as of 3 p.m.As of 6 p.m., power was fully restored to Duarte, SCE reported. 

Aoyagi also urged customers to do whatever they could to reduce pressure on the system, such as keep thermostats at 70 or above, judicious use of air conditioning and use of drapes, curtains and blinds to keep sunlight and heat out of rooms. 

The LADWP said it set a July record of 6,256 megawatts used on Friday. It's the most used since a day in 2006, when 6,165 megawatts were used. 

Officials predicted a usage of 5,500 megawatts for Saturday. The agency asked customers to reduce their electricity usage in any way possible. Extra crews are being made available Saturday to limit the down time when an outage occurs. 

The California ISO, which oversees ordering enough power to meet Californians' needs, did not issue any Flex-Alerts, but did urge conservation.

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