Heat-Related Power Outages Plague San Fernando Valley

Thousands of customers were without power overnight during one of the warmest week's of the year

What to Know

  • The heat wave is expected to continue into next week
  • About 8,200 customers were without power in the San Fernando Valley
  • The state's independent system operator issued a Flex Alert Tuesday

Crews were working overnight to restore power to more than 8,500 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers in the San Fernando Valley following weather-related outages that left residents in the dark and without air conditioning during one of the warmest weeks of the year. 

Scattered outages affected customers throughout the DWP's service area Tuesday, when temperatures were up to 18 degrees above normal in Los Angeles County.

As of 2 a.m., 4,150 customers in Pacoima remained without power and nearly 2,000 customers in the Valley Glen area near North Hollywood.

DWP officials said heat can create strain on the grid, which contributes to outages. To help reduce stress on the state's power grid, the California Independent System Operator issued a Flex Alert for Tuesday afternoon -- a request to voluntarily reduce energy consumption during peak hours. 

Crews will install temporary high voltage equipment in Northridge Wednesday morning to restore power as equipment at the station was overloaded and in high use due to the heat, officials said. Power was projected to be restored to customers by 6 a.m.

Unrelenting Heat

An excessive heat warning was in effect again Wednesday in the mountains and valleys of Los Angeles County amid more triple-digit forecasts, with a high of 111 again expected in Woodland Hills. The combination of strong high pressure and weak onshore flow will continue to produce dangerously hot temperatures across the region through at least the end of the week and possibly into the labor day weekend.

The highest temperatures will be in the valleys and mountains at lower elevations. An excessive heat warning will be in effect until 10 p.m. Friday in the Antelope, San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys, and at lower elevations in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains. Highs in those areas will range between 98 and 112 while overnight lows will be warm as well, ranging from the 70s to the mid 80s.

A less severe heat advisory will be in force, also until 10 p.m. Friday, along the L.A. County coast, in beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles -- including the Downtown area -- and the Hollywood Hills. Temperatures in those areas will range from the upper 80s to the mid 90s, with overnight lows falling only to a range between the upper 60s and mid 70s.

Temperatures will be only around 5 degrees above normal at the beach but 12-15 degrees above normal in downtown LA and 15-20 degrees above normal in the valleys and mountains. These levels will persist through Friday and perhaps into Saturday.

This week's heat wave has shattered a few records. Lancaster reached a high of 109 degrees Tuesday, breaking the record for an Aug. 28, which was 107 and set in 1998. Sandberg, a mountain community in the Antelope Valley, reached 103 degrees, breaking the record of 97 set in 2007. Woodland Hills reached 112 degrees, tying the record set in 1996.

Forecasters again warned area residents to protect themselves and those close to them from the high heat. Their recommendations include avoiding strenuous work in high heat, wearing lightweight and light-colored clothing, staying well-hydrated, checking on friends and relatives, especially the elderly, and never leaving children, seniors or pets in parked cars since vehicle interiors can rapidly turn deadly hot.

The NWS forecast sunny skies Wednesday and highs of 77 in Avalon; 82 at LAX; 91 in Long Beach; 94 on Mount Wilson; 95 in Downtown L.A.; 98 in San Gabriel; 100 in Burbank and Pasadena; 107 in Palmdale; 108 in Lancaster; 109 in Saugus; and 111 in Woodland Hills. L.A. County temperatures will begin to fall on Sunday, but very slightly.

Sunny skies were also forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 76 in Newport Beach and Laguna Beach; 77 in San Clemente; 94 in Irvine; 95 in Anaheim; 97 in Fullerton and Mission Viejo; and 100 in Yorba Linda. Little change is expected in Orange County temperatures over the next several days, although a slight temperature increase is expected starting Friday, lasting three days in some communities. 

Copyright CNS - City News Service
Contact Us