Crews Work To Restore Electricity As Heat Wave Causes Power Outages

Monday, September 3rd 2007, 12:45 pm
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Temperatures headed back toward triple digits Monday, the seventh day of a heat wave that has contributed to blackouts leaving thousands without air conditioning.

Temperatures as high as 108 were expected in the Hollywood Hills, with the mercury likely to pass 110 in the region's desert areas, according to the National Weather Service. At 7 a.m., the weather service said, it was already 77 in downtown Los Angeles, where thermometers peaked at 100 on Sunday.

About 3,500 customers in scattered parts of Los Angeles still had no electricity early Monday, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power spokeswoman MaryAnne Piersen said.

``Probably more than 90 percent of them are due to stress on the system due to the heat,'' she said. ``Different pieces of equipment get fatigued and blow out, so they have to be replaced.''

Lightning striking power system equipment during scattered desert thunderstorms added to the strain on the system.

Some 20,000 Southern California Edison customers in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties also had no electricity, spokesman Steve Conroy said.

``We expect at this point to make solid progress at getting a lot of the service back during the morning and midday hours,'' Conroy said.

The California Independent System Operator, which oversees the state's power grid, said no major shortages were expected Monday, but it urged customers to conserve.

Dozens of cooling centers were opened across California on Sunday for people who had no air conditioning as temperatures hit 109 in Woodland Hills in the San Fernando Valley and more than 100 in other parts of the state. Parts of the area of have triple-digit highs since at least early last week.