Utility Crews Work Through the Night to Restore Power to Thousands

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Crews with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Southern California Edison worked through the night to restore power to tens of thousands of customers blacked out amid staggering heat this weekend, officials said today.

At last word, the LADWP reported about 26,500 customers were off-grid in Windsor Square, Hancock Park and Koreatown.

Field crews have restored power to 57,000 customers since Friday, the second day of the Southland's first summertime heat wave this year.

Southern California Edison today reported that 1,510 Los Angeles County customers were without power, 149 in Orange County and 327 in Riverside County.

The DWP warned that people who suffered blackouts may have to wait a day or two for their power to be restored.

Overloaded distribution stations, overheated or overtaxed underground and above-surface lines, and other large equipment failed Friday, when various parts of Los Angeles hit temperature records. It was 117 at Van Nuys Airport and 111 at UCLA that day.

SCE urged its customers to do whatever they could to reduce pressure on the system, such as keeping 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 National Weather Service forecast cooler coastal temperatures, with inland temperatures down to the 80s and 90s.

DWP officials said Saturday's power demand was the second-highest of any weekend day in the city's history, with peak use exceeding 5,700 megawatts, one day after a July record of 6,256 megawatts was used on Friday, which was the most used for a single day since 2006 when 6,165 megawatts were used.

Photo: Getty Images

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